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Gig Harbor man pleads guilty to killing infant daughter

Post by Adam Lynn / The News Tribune on Jan. 31, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
January 31, 2011 3:51 pm

A 39-year-old man pleaded guilty this afternoon to first-degree manslaughter in the death of his 3-week-old daughter.

Bonifacio V. Velarde, a Gig Harbor resident, faces a recommended term of 11 years, four months in prison when sentenced Feb. 28, Pierce County deputy prosecutor Lori Kooiman said.

Velarde also pleaded guilty to three counts of witness tampering.

He originally was charged with second-degree murder in the May 21, 2009, death of his daughter, Ava.

Medical examiners said the girl died of “cranial cerebral trauma” most likely caused by having her head squeezed or hit with something blunt, according to court records.

Velarde, who has two other children, admitted to investigators that the girl’s injuries occurred “on my watch.”

He also admitted trying on three separate occasions to convince a witness in the case to testify falsely, court records state.

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