Jurors won't hear statements a Rosemont man allegedly made to police about using drugs on the day in November 2010 when police say he scalded his stepson by holding the toddler under hot running water.
Cook County Judge Joel Greenblatt ruled Wednesday that prosecutors cannot introduce statements police say Santiago Minjarez made to them and to an assistant state's attorney following his arrest on charges of aggravated battery to a child.
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Authorities say Minjarez, 34, told them he was "high when he burned (the toddler's) face in the water," and that he "panicked" because he had smoked heroin earlier that day.
Cook County Assistant Public Defender Daniel Naranjo argued that allowing jurors to hear those alleged statements would prejudice them against his client, who remains at Cook County Jail on a $200,000 bond. Greenblatt agreed.
Prosecutors indicated they will file a motion asking the judge to reconsider his ruling.
Naranjo expressed satisfaction "in making the proper determination of what is relevant," adding that in this instance "heroin use is completely irrelevant."
Minjarez's trial is set for later this year in Rolling Meadows' Third Municipal District. If convicted of the class X felony, Minjarez could face from six to 30 years in prison. He next appears in court Aug. 20.