Update on Alejandro Mendez Vargas - Oct. 25, 2005

Man charged with killing baby will not face death penalty

By Erin L. Nissley
Posted on Tue, Oct. 25, 2005


BELLEFONTE -- A man accused of killing his newborn in 2002 is no longer facing the death penalty after a judge ruled there was not enough evidence to support a first-degree murder charge.

Vargas is now facing a charge of third-degree murder.

Alejandro Mendez Vargas, 31, has been in prison awaiting trial on murder charges since his arrest in August 2003. Police say he was home alone with his son on Aug. 27, 2002 and went to a neighbor's for help when the child showed signs of medical distress.

The baby died at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville on Sept. 2, 2002.

Prosecutors say the infant died as a result of shaken baby syndrome and offered medical reports at Vargas' preliminary hearing as proof.

For a full story, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Centre Daily Times.