A Connecticut man convicted of murdering his infant son by throwing the child off of a bridge has been sentenced to 70 years in prison.
In July 2015, Tony Moreno tossed his 7-month-old baby boy, Aaden, off the Arrigoni Bridge. The child plummeted 90 feet to his death in the Connecticut River.
Moreno then jumped off the bridge. He was seriously wounded, but survived.
Now 23, Moreno testified during his trial that he accidentally dropped the boy and never meant to hurt his son, but had confessed to police that he threw the baby off the bridge, and court records showed he had angrily texted Aaden’s mother in the moments before he jumped, The Associated Press reported.
“Enjoy your new life without us,” Moreno wrote. “He’s dead. Soon I will be too.”
A custody dispute over Aaden had been settled just days before the murder, with Moreno being awarded joint custody in what had become an increasingly strained relationship between Moreno and the boy’s mother.
Police responded to the bridge after Moreno’s mother called 911 to report that her son had called her saying he was going to jump.
Officers arrived in time to see Moreno jump, but there was no sign of the baby, except for an empty stroller.
Aaden’s body wouldn’t be found until two days later, after an extensive search involving dive teams and helicopters.
A kayaker ultimately discovered the baby’s remains several miles downstream in East Haddam, The Harford Courant reported.
“Every time I wake up, I pray the nightmare will be over and my son will be in my arms,” the child’s mother said in court on Wednesday. “I won’t see my son grow up. You took my whole world in front of me. You took my life.”
Though Moreno’s attorney, Norman Pattis, tried to convince a jury that he never meant to kill his son, he was found guilty in February of murder and risk of injury to a minor.
Pattis argued for Moreno to receive the mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years, the Courant reported.
“Tony told you what happened," Pattis said. "The jury disregarded it. Aaden slipped from his grasp."
Middletown Superior Court Judge Elpedio Vitale imposed the maximum prison time for Moreno, saying: “The utter depravity of the crime, a father killing his infant son, speaks for itself.”