An Ajo man arrested in June after his girlfriend's daughter died while under his care pleaded guilty to one count of felony child abuse, court records show.

Julian Moore was arrested on multiple charges of child abuse days after 17-month-old VictoriaLynn Heredia-Manuel's June 10 death, according to Pima County Superior Court records.

On Dec. 16, Moore entered a change in plea, admitting guilt in one of the three counts of child abuse leveled against him, records show.

At around 12:30 a.m., paramedics arrived at a home in Ajo and found VictoriaLynn unconscious. After 90 minutes of life-saving efforts and nine rounds of adrenaline, the child was pronounced deceased.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department investigation revealed that Moore was in Pima County jail at the time of VictoriaLynn's death, but had left her at a friend's house, court records show.

After collecting evidence at Moore's home and speaking with him, detectives learned that he used heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana, and three weeks before VictoriaLynn's death, he saw her eat part of a marijuana joint that was left within her reach, records show.

Moore also told them that VictoriaLynn had been sick the week before her death, and although he had considered taking her to the clinic, he thought she was doing better, despite the fact that "she had been screaming in pain as if she were being 'tortured,'" according to court records.

Moore was initially charged with three counts of child abuse, after prosecutors said that he didn't seek treatment for VictoriaLynn and allowed her to live in a filthy home with access to knives and drugs, court documents say.

VictoriaLynn's autopsy report came back inconclusive, but showed that she had minor injuries to her head, face and torso, although none were serious enough to kill her.

Pima County prosecutors accepted the plea agreement and dismissed the other charges against him. Moore will be sentenced by Judge Jane Eikleberry on Jan. 17.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191


 

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