JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced on Wednesday (July 15, 2009) that a Romeoville man who stabbed his 6-week-old child in the chest with a folding knife last year has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Miguel Villarreal, 26, of 1914 Cobblestone, Romeoville, was convicted May 7 of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery of a child at the conclusion of a three-day jury trial. Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak handed down the 20-year sentence.
During an argument with the child’s mother on Mother’s Day 2008, Villarreal locked himself in the bedroom with the baby. He stabbed the infant twice in the chest over the heart and then stabbed himself in the stomach in a murder-suicide attempt.
The stab wounds did not pierce the baby’s chest plate. The baby recovered from the attack, although the child’s chest will be scarred for life. Villarreal was rushed to the hospital and survived after the knife was removed from his stomach during emergency surgery.
“Miguel Villarreal committed the most loathsome and revulsive act imaginable against his own child,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “The most secure place for this innocent and defenseless baby should have been in his father’s arms. Instead of protecting his newborn son, this reprobate pulled out his knife and used it to perform a sadistic act of inconceivable savagery.”
When Romeoville detectives and paramedics arrived at the scene, they found the 15-pound infant covered in blood that they initially believed was from Villarreal’s self-inflicted knife wound. They immediately removed the child’s blood-stained Winnie the Pooh pajamas and found the stab wounds inflicted by his father.
Glasgow said top-notch trial work by Assistant State’s Attorneys Frank Byers and Jessica Colon-Sayre secured the conviction against Villarreal. He also praised Romeoville Police, particularly Detective Sgt. Ken Kroll, for a first-rate investigation.
Kroll followed Villarreal into surgery so that the knife could be placed into police custody immediately after it was removed from the defendant’s stomach.
“It’s this kind of attention to detail and procedure on the part of investigators that enables skilled prosecutors like Frank Byers and Jessica Colon-Sayre to prove their cases beyond a reasonable doubt when they go to trial,” Glasgow said.