A couple who pleaded no contest in the death of their infant son were sentenced on Thursday.
Gage Roberts, 23, was sentenced in Kern County Superior Court to 15 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder of his 18-day-old baby in 2016. His wife, 24-year-old Debra Roberts, was sentenced to four years' probation after pleading no contest to willful cruelty to a child.
“We believe this is very appropriate given the circumstances and the fact that a baby was murdered,” said Attorney Melissa Allen, who prosecuted the case.
On the morning of April 24, 2016, BPD officers were called to a Bakersfield hotel and found a maid performing CPR on a baby, according to court documents. The baby was pronounced dead at the scene.
The boy's father, Gage Roberts, initially told officers that he slept in the same bed with the infant but said they remained face-up the whole time. However, police said the evidence did not corroborate that statement.
According to court documents, Debra Roberts told police she believed her husband intentionally killed the boy. She said the manner of his death was similar to that of their first child, who died in Kansas in 2015.
Investigators in Bakersfield told Debra Roberts that they believed her husband intentionally smothered both children. In July 2017, they were both subsequently arrested and booked into the Kern County Jail.