Court reverses conviction for 2005 child abuse

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The state Supreme Court has reversed the child abuse conviction of a Las Cruces man for allegedly causing severe brain injuries to his 2-month-old nephew in 2005.

The court on Thursday ordered the child abuse charge against Daniel Consaul dismissed with prejudice so it can’t be refiled. Consaul was sentenced in 2009 to 18 years in prison.

The case was prosecuted when Gov. Susana Martinez was district attorney in Las Cruces.

The court said there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Consaul negligently caused his nephew’s injuries by wrapping him in a blanket and leaving him face-down on a pillow while babysitting the child.

The court said prosecutors also didn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Consaul intentionally suffocated the infant, and the trial judge erred in jury instructions.

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