GUILTY PLEAS IN DEATH OF CHILD, 4
Author: CYNTHIA BURTON, Daily News Staff Writer
A Franconia Township couple, accused of killing a 4-year-old El Salvadoran boy, pleaded guilty to reduced charges in Montgomery County Court yesterday.
Peter Moyer, 34, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to five years in prison at Camp Hill by Judge Horace Davenport.
His wife, Christine Moyer, 36, pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children and was placed on two years' probation.
The pair had been charged with third-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of children.
The child, Carlos Beltran, whom they planned to adopt, was found dead last Dec. 14 of blows to the head, arms, legs and torso. The death blow was an apparent punch in the stomach, said Assistant District Attorney Mary Killinger.
Killinger said she did not try to prove that either of the parents beat the child to death because there was no certainty over who delivered the death blow.
According to court documents, Christine Moyer told police that she had beaten the child until her hand turned black and blue. She began using a belt to protect her hand and its buckle wraped around the boy's body, striking him in the stomach, according to the records.
The child was found dead by Peter Moyer, who called police. Because Peter Moyer did not take Carlos to the doctor after seeing that he was seriously ill, he was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Christine Moyer was not home when the boy died.
In accepting their guilty pleas, Davenport urged Christine Moyer to seek psychological counseling. "This event can be nothing but traumatic," he said.