Man guilty of killing 5-year-old over petty grievances like not answering questions fast enough


Daniel Garcia as jurors in Bexar County, Texas, on May 29, 2024, convict him of killing 5-year-old Domenic Aguilar-Acevedo. (Screenshot: KSAT)

Daniel Garcia as jurors in Bexar County, Texas, on May 29, 2024, convicted him of killing 5-year-old Domenic Aguilar-Acevedo. (Screenshot: KSAT)

Texas jurors took two and a half hours on Wednesday to convict a man for fatally beating his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son, according to San Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT. Testimony from the mother established that the defendant, Daniel Garcia, would strike victim Domenic Aguilar Acevedo over issues like not answering questions fast enough or not eating fast enough.

“[Domenic] wouldn’t answer right away, wouldn’t keep quiet, not eat his food fast enough … one time he pooped himself,” the mother, Nickolle Cristina Aguilar, testified last week.

That pattern of abuse ended tragically in July 2021, when Garcia threw Domenic into a wall, fatally injuring the child. Dominic began vomiting what investigators described as a dark substance before he died a few hours later.

Authorities said surveillance footage from the hotel showed Garcia carrying Dominic’s lifeless body to their car. Aguilar testified that instead of calling 911, they drove to Colorado — they camped in a remote area before burying Dominic. His body was later recovered in a ravine near the campsite.

Speaking about a specific incident before Dominic’s death, Aguilar said Garcia punched the child in the face with so much force it left the boy’s jaw “crooked.”

“He wasn’t answering fast enough or eating fast enough and — I don’t remember exactly what happened, but at some point, Daniel (Garcia) hit him (Dominic) in the jaw,” she said. “He punched him in the jaw, like how you sucker punch somebody, with a closed fist.”

Investigators have previously said that Nickolle Aguilar told them that she did not step in to stop the abuse because “she was too eager to be in a relationship.”

Garcia was on trial for injury to a child resulting in death, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon resulting in serious bodily injury, and altering, destroying, or concealing a human corpse.

Nickolle Aguilar earlier this month pleaded guilty to one count of injury to a child causing serious bodily injury by omission and was subsequently sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in a state correctional facility. She was required to testify against Garcia as part of her plea agreement,

Garcia’s sentencing is set for Aug. 14.

More Law&Crime coverage: Man facing murder charges for allegedly beating girlfriend’s 1-year-old son so bad he had a heart attack

Jerry Lambe contributed to this report.

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