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Man convicted in death of baby could be released from prison

By Vanessa de la Viña, vanessa@kvia.com
Published On: Jul 24 2013 10:36:43 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 21 2014 10:44:01 AM CDT

Reporter: Vanessa De La Vina

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

A man convicted of causing the death of his 4-month-old baby could be released from prison soon.

In February, Robert Flores, 28, was convicted of negligent child abuse resulting in death.

The victim's family told ABC-7 they're frustrated and disappointed.

Desiree Mondragon thought after Flores was convicted and sentenced, she could move on from this tragedy. Now she said she's reliving it all over again.

"We are the victims and the baby's not here. We're going to have her birthday on Wednesday. We're all going back to Artesia, and we get to celebrate her birthday with maybe the fact of him getting out. It's just not right," said Michael Mondragon, Desiree's husband.

Desiree's daughter, Kalynne, would have celebrated her sixth birthday on Wednesday. Instead, her family has to celebrate without her.

"My wife is the victim. She doesn't have her baby here due to the actions of Robert. He's not being held accountable again," Michael Mondragon said.

In 2007, Flores left Kalynne inside a laundry hamper to go buy beer. The baby suffocated and died.

Flores was found guilty of negligent child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence.

"We feel like the process was done. It happened. We feel like we're being violated. We feel like we're having to relive the whole thing all over again," Michael Mondragon said.

When Flores was convicted, he filed an appeal.

On Friday morning, District Judge Fernando Macias granted Flores bond while Flores waits for his appeal.

"I've never seen it in my 15 years of practice in this district that someone convicted of a first-degree crime allowed an appeal bond," said prosecutor Jacinto Palomino.

In court documents, Macias wrote Flores is not dangerous or a flight risk. The judge also wrote Flores' appeal raises issues that could lead to a new trial.

Kalynne's family is devastated by the possibility.

"He's had his chances. He's been found guilty. Just step up to the plate and do your time," Michael Mondragon said.

The judge set Flores' bond at $80,000 secured. The state has asked him to reconsider that decision. The judge said a hearing on the matter could be held as early as next week.

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