BIRTH: April 20, 2005
DEATH: July 18, 2009
Diego, 4, was beaten to death inside a motel room by his mother’s boyfriend. The boyfriend beat him over the course of days and the only reason he did it, he was just down right mean and liked the control he felt over the children. There has never been a clear motive, which, for a four year-old there isn’t anything he could have done to warrant death. His mother, Meagan Davis, didn’t do much to help her son until it was to late.
Diego was subjected to extended abuse and died as a result of repeated blows to the stomach, which ruptured his intestine and caused internal bleeding. He was covered in bruises from head to toe; 128 bruises were inflicted over the course of several days. Diego had visible blunt force injuries on his face, hands, arms, legs, torso, and back. His penis and foreskin also showed signs of bruising, which could have been caused by pulling, squeezing or twisting.
Diego had more internal evidence of blunt force trauma, including one liter of bloody fluid in his abdominal cavity. There were signs of injury included scaring of the liver from past blows and those same blows had pushed a section of Diego’s intestine against his spine hard enough to tear them.
Some of the bruising could have occurred just an hour or two before Diego’s death. Other injuries, including the internal bleeding could have occurred a few hours to a day before death, and some of the bruises showed evidence of starting to heal, indicating they occurred days earlier.
A 9-1-1 call summoned emergency medical responders to a motel room where Diego’s mother, Meagan Davis, and his older sister had been staying. Diego was not breathing, and was transported to the medical center where he was pronounced dead.
The same boyfriend that beat Diego to death had already tortured and beaten a 17 month old little girl named Lina in 2006.
Meagan Davis was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading guilty to a felony child abuse charge for failing to protect Diego. She received the sentence as part of an agreement to testify against her former boyfriend. If Davis violates any of the stipulations of the deal, she could spend six years in state prison.
James Lujan, who murdered 4-year-old Diego in 2009 and nearly beat another child to death three years earlier, was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison.