Father of boy found dead admits to hitting another child
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The father of a 5-year-old Kansas boy whose body was found months after he was reporting missing has pleaded guilty to hitting another child.
Jonathan Hernandez of Wichita was sentenced Wednesday to one year of probation and ordered to complete a parenting class after admitting to misdemeanor battery, the Wichita Eagle reported .
Hernandez, 34, struck the 6-year-old son of his then-girlfriend Emily Glass, causing redness and swelling on the boy’s chest, according to prosecutors. The boy’s father told police in February that his son told him Hernandez “smacked his chest because he was spraying a Febreeze bottle,” according to court documents.
A Department for Children and Families employee interviewed the boy at his school days later. The boy began crying and said Hernandez “pushed him down onto the couch by pushing his chest one-handed with his fingers,” court documents said.
Hernandez told Wichita police that the boy “was spraying a spray bottle and continued to do so after being told to stop” and that he “reached for the bottle to take it from (the boy) and accidentally hit his chest instead of taking the bottle.”
Police described Glass as the stepmother of Hernandez’s son, Lucas. Glass reported Lucas missing in February and fatally shot herself last month after leading an investigator to Lucas’ body, which was under a small Harvey County bridge. Prosecutors didn’t charge her in Lucas’ death but described her as a person of interest.
Lucas’ cause of death could not be determined. District Attorney Marc Bennet said Hernandez’s battery charge was the result of a separate investigation into Glass’ son and did not involve Lucas’ disappearance.