Man sentenced to life in prison for strangling 2-year-old cousin with cord

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GOLDEN, Colo. — A jury has convicted a man for killing his 2-year-old cousin in November 2015, the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Roman Morales, then 21, strangled Donnie Romero with an AV cord.

The child’s body was found in a large, plastic storage tub in the apartment where Morales lived with the child and other family members.

Donnie Romero

The electrical cord was still wrapped around the toddler’s neck when he was found underneath blankets inside the tub, prosecutors said.

Morales was on trial for two weeks. The jury deliberated for one day before finding him guilty. Morales was immediately sentenced to life in prison.

According to court documents, Morales had become increasingly odd and paranoid before the murder.

Romero’s mother had asked Morales to keep an eye on the child while she took a shower. An arrest affidavit said three other adults were in the apartment; one said he heard the little boy choking, but Morales told him the child had eaten a piece of candy and was fine.

Relatives said they were worried about Morales’ mental health because he kept talking about government conspiracies to kill citizens, secret codes, and claimed the FBI and mafia were monitoring their phones and computers.