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A man accused of killing his girlfriend’s baby was found guilty today.

Dannie Joe Farnum, 30, was convicted of one count of second-degree murder and one count of inflicting injury that caused the death of 7-month-old John Thomas “Tommy” Gonzales Jr.

The child was killed in his Anza home in 2008.

He faces 25 years to life in state prison and is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 28, according to court records.

Damning evidence

Farnum’s daughter testified against him, saying the baby was crying, so her father shook it and threw it onto the street. The baby then got quiet because he was “sad,” she testified last week.

“It got shooked,” the girl said, smiling and leaning back in her chair.

“Who shook the baby?” Ryan asked.


“Why did he shake the baby?”

“Because he was mad.”

The infant suffered a “massive” skull fracture causing instant death, according to Bethany Venable, a forensic technician who examined the infant’s body.

This happened when Farnum threw the baby into the street, Farnum’s daughter testified.

“I see him shook him and dropped him in the street,” the child said.

Defense argued the child — then 4 year old — saw her daughter doing CPR on the baby and confused it for violence.

Jurors said that made no sense, because the girl said the baby was crying when her father shook him.

“He (Farnum) was the only one with the immediate level of frustration because he had the baby,” prosecutor Jennifer Garcia said after the hearing today.

Jurors believe in mother’s innocence

During testimony, the defense and prosecution both asked the infant’s mother, Delice Sharon Preston, whether she killed her child.

“You’re the only one with a motive,” defense attorney Gregory Henderson told Preston last week when she took the stand.

To read about the mother’s innocence being questioned, click here.

The mother, a methamphetamine addict, was sick of raising the infant and two older children in a small, messy trailer in Anza, Henderson argued, but the jury did not believe that.

To see photos of the trailer, click here.

“I didn’t agree with the mother doing it at all,” said Suzi Breckenridge, one of the jurors.

The mother was at the store when the child was killed, the juror said.
To read about the mother’s testimony, click here.

The mother could not have killed her child because there was no opening in the timeline, said prosecutor Jennifer Garcia.

The child was alive, according to several witnesses, when she left for the store. When she returned, she went straight to the kitchen to make Hamburger Helper, Garcia said.

“That’s ridiculous that she (Preston) would be frying ground beef and say, ‘I think I’ll go kill my baby,'” Garcia said.

Defense attorneys failed to present any evidence the mother killed her baby, several jurors said after returning their verdict.

If defense had any evidence the mother killed her child, nothing would stop it from being presented, said Jeff Zimel, a colleague of Henderson in the District Attorney’s office.

The mother was convicted of being an accomplice in her child’s murder and spent several months in prison, she testified.

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