PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A man convicted last month in the murder of his girlfriend’s 6-year-old son will find out his punishment in a few weeks from now.
The judge set a July 7 sentencing date for Michael Patino after denying his motion for a new trial, the Attorney General’s Office confirmed.
In April, a jury found Patino guilty of second-degree murder in the 2009 death of Marco Nieves. He was acquitted of first-degree murder in the case.
During the trial, the state showed the jurors text messages between Patino and Nieves’ mother, in which he told her he punched the boy because the kindergartener needed to act more like a man.
Years ago, Judge Judith Savage, who did not proceed over the recent trial, excluded the text message evidence. The state Supreme Court overturned the ruling and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case last year.
During closing arguments, prosecutors made their final pitch to jurors – saying Nieves’ death was no accident. They said Patino used the boy as a punching bag and one of those blows punctured the 6-year-old’s bowel, causing his death.
The defense took aim at Nieves’ mother. Lawyers said Marco died because Trisha Oliver failed to take him to the hospital for some 15 hours, even as the boy vomited and lost consciousness.
During trial, a former medical examiner testified Marco’s injuries would have been survivable if treated promptly. However, lawyers claimed Oliver was more concerned with obtaining marijuana.