On Friday, a trial started for the man accused of throwing his toddler son into the Connecticut River in 2015. Prosecutors are pushing for a murder conviction.
NBC Crimesider reports that Tony Moreno, 23, pleaded “not guilty” to murder and risk of injury to a child, but prosecutors think the overwhelming evidence will prove him wrong.
On July 5, 2015, after sending venomous text messages to his former girlfriend, Adrianne Oyola, the suspect allegedly tossed his 7-month-old son, Aaden Moreno, from a bridge. The baby drowned. His tiny, lifeless body was found close to a swing bridge in East Haddam.
Moreno and Oyola were in the middle of a heated custody dispute when the incident occurred. After allegedly throwing Aaden from the bridge, Moreno texted the baby’s mother with a sinister message.
“Enjoy your new life without us. He’s dead.”
Norm Pattis, Moreno’s attorney, doesn’t dispute that his client threw his son off of a bridge, but he’s pushing for first-degree or second-degree manslaughter charges instead of murder.
In court on Friday, the jury heard details surrounding the case, including Moreno’s mother’s desperate 911 call, and how the suspect jumped into the river himself after police arrived at the scene. Officers rescued Moreno from the river and transported him to the hospital.
While recovering, he allegedly admitted guilt to an attending officer, which will be allowed during trial as evidence. According to the officer, Moreno made hand gestures to describe how he threw Aaden off the bridge.
“Tony said that it was more like a free throw distance from the railing,” the officer said in 2015.
Oyola filed a restraining order against Moreno a month before the tragedy occurred. She wrote that feared for the safety of both herself and Aaden.
“I am afraid he is going to do something to my son. He is angry and probably isn’t thinking straight.” “I fear for my child’s safety, he could hurt my child. He (Moreno) has told me he could make my son disappear any time of the day. He told me how he could make me disappear.”
— Brian Zahn (@brizahn) July 21, 2015
If convicted, Moreno could face life in prison.
[Feature Photo: Connecticut State Police]