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Simi Valley Father Pleads Guilty in Shaking Death

January 08, 2002|TRACY WILSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After proclaiming his innocence for more than a year, a 26-year-old Simi Valley man pleaded guilty Monday to shaking his infant son to death.

Brian Trelatsky faces a mandatory sentence of 15 years to life in prison. He had been scheduled to stand trial this week on a charge of child abuse causing death, which carries a penalty of 25 years to life in prison. But before jury selection began, he offered to plead guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder, and prosecutors accepted.

Trelatsky entered his plea during a brief appearance before Ventura County Superior Court Judge Ken Riley.

A stay-at-home father, Trelatsky was the primary caregiver for Tyler and an older son, Scottie, now 3.

On the afternoon of March 28, 2000, firefighters and police responded to a 911 call of a baby not breathing and found Tyler in cardiac arrest at the family's home.

Tyler was taken to Simi Valley Hospital for initial treatment, then transferred to the pediatric intensive-care unit at Northridge Hospital Medical Center.

Doctors determined he had retinal hemorrhaging and brain swelling, symptoms consistent with shaken-baby syndrome, police said. He died the next day.

Trelatsky is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 7.

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