Lake County mom held on charges she beat 3-year-old son to death

  • Sofia J. Nino

    Sofia J. Nino

Updated 5/31/2008 12:43 PM

A Beach Park mother is being held on $5 million bond today on charges she beat her 3-year-old son to death after he urinated in his pants.

Sofia J. Nino, 24, of 38569 Sheridan Road, Lot 426, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of her son, Azariah Nino, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said. Beach Park is about 5 miles north of Waukegan.


The child was beaten on Monday night, paramedics were called Tuesday morning when he was found non-responsive, and the child died the next day at a Milwaukee hospital, the sheriff said.

"It's an incredibly emotional case for the investigators who worked on the case, from the perspective of the innocence of a little boy, and the bond between a little boy and their mother is virtually unparalleled in terms of the love and caring… You could only venture that this little boy was not able to find any of that in this world," Curran said.

Sheriff's police responded to a 911 call at about 10 a.m. Tuesday about an unresponsive child at Nino's address. The call came from her 27-year-old live-in boyfriend.

The little boy was taken to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan and diagnosed with a brain bleed caused by blunt force trauma. He was flown to Children's Hospital in Milwaukee, where he died at 1:01 p.m. Wednesday, Curran said.

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The boy's injuries included two subdural hematomas, which led to his death. The child had bruises on both ears, both cheeks, his back, neck, both legs and thighs, Curran said.

Witnesses told police that Nino struck the boy two or three times in the head and back after he soiled his pants and then took him into the bathroom and closed the door. The beating continued, with witnesses saying they could hear the beating and the child screaming.

The child was then seen naked and shaking, with severe redness on his back, Curran said.

"I saw the pictures of the little boy, and I have three boys myself... It turns your stomach," Curran said.

Further investigation revealed there had been previous signs of abuse to the child, he said.

The child has a 6-year-old brother who was taken into protective custody by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Two other children, unrelated to Nino, also lived in the home.

Judge Louis Barones set a $5 million bond for Nino this morning. She is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. June 17 in Waukegan.

Nino, who is represented by a public defender, was employed and did not have a previous criminal record, the sheriff said.

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