Breaking: Mother gets prison term, judge's rebuke for killing child

Date: 2006-05-19

Breaking: Mother gets prison term, judge's rebuke for killing child

By Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published May 19, 2006 11:43 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Salt Lake City woman was sent to prison Friday for as many as 15 years for shaking and killing her adopted son.
Julie Archuleta, 29, pleaded guilty in March to child-abuse homicide, a second-degree felony, in the death of 5-month-old Dreydon Archuleta.

In a sentence handed down by 3rd District Judge Leslie Lewis, Archuleta will serve at least one year in prison and could serve the entire 15 years for a second-degree felony, depending on the judgment of the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole. Lewis also ordered Archuleta to pay $9,250 in fines.

Archuleta's attorney, Gilbert Athay, asked Lewis not to impose a prison sentence but rather order his client to jail for what likely would have been a year or less.

Lewis rejected Archuleta's claims that she was suffering from the effects of recent surgeries and pain medications when she killed Dreydon.

"You just simply chose to punish the child," Lewis said. "I hope you can live with yourself, Ms. Archuleta. I couldn't."

On Sept. 27, 2004, Archuleta picked up a crying Dreydon by his ankles at her home and aggressively shook him, according to a statement she gave the court in March. When Dreydon continued crying, Archuleta said, she sat him in her lap, turned him toward her and again violently shook him.

The baby's breathing became labored and Archuleta called 911.

Dreydon died two days later.

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