Life sentence for man convicted in baby’s death

EDINBURG — A Mercedes man will spend the rest of his life behind prison walls in connection with the beating death of his 11-month-old stepson, according to court records.

Johnny Anthony Palomo will not be eligible for parole after a judge sentenced him to life last Friday morning, more than a month after jurors found him guilty in the death of a baby boy, according to court records.

According to the county pathologist who performed the autopsy, Jeremy Lee Villa died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. When his mother discovered the boy, his body was limp and he was unresponsive, court records show.

The boy’s mother, Vanessa Flores Villa, 28, was also charged in the boy’s death. She was charged with one count of injury to a child, failure to assist, a first-degree felony, to which she pleaded guilty to last July and is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence, court records show.

She testified during the weeklong trial on two different occasions, saying Palomo was the one who beat to death her son while she was in the next room.

Palomo’s defense throughout the trial was that he did not touch the boy — that he had possibly choked on his own vomit.

Palomo, who was arrested a week after the boy died, told investigators in a taped interview that the day after Thanksgiving he and Villa argued about what he described as Villa’s poor parenting skills and how he didn’t agree with how she raised her kids.