Gainesville Man Found Guilty After Child Dies From Severe Burns - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Gainesville Man Found Guilty After Child Dies From Severe Burns

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GAINESVILLE, TX -- The verdict is in for a Cooke County man accused of not helping a little boy with burns over 60 percent his body. He's the last of four suspects to go on trial in connection with the boy's death.

The defendant was the boyfriend of the boy's mother, who is already serving a life sentence. KTEN was in the courtroom when the jury came back this afternoon.

Tears outside the courtroom after a jury finds Johnny Earl Alexander, 30, guilty of injury to a child. He was accused of not getting Nathan De Alejandro, 4, any medical care for his burns for 14 days.

Mother Catrina Maldonado testified for the state, and Alexander did not take the stand.

"Anybody that was involved failed to render aid so I mean, whoever was involved, they deserve whatever they get," says victim's dad Christopher De Alejandro on Wednesday.

"It's sick and hurts because you know, you have grandkids of your own and you think, my God, you don't want anybody to hurt a kid," says former neighbor Liz Burris.

The jury was only out about half an hour before coming back with a guilty verdict on the injury to a child charge. They then took an hour break.

"I've been to the mother's trial and the other parents, I didn't get to see, but I know that they've been sentenced already," says Christopher De Alejandro, who is from Corpus Christi.

During the punishment phase, jurors heard about Alexander's 2003 conviction for injury to a child, seeing photos of a 2-year-old bitten on the shoulder.

A Cooke County deputy testified that boy had bruises all over his body, a cigarette burn on his foot, and bite marks on his butt.

That boy was taken to the ER after a reported fall from a pickup truck that defense attorney Bob Jarvis says could have caused the bruises.

In that case, Alexander pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 8 years in prison. District Attorney Janice Warder says he'd just recently gotten out of prison at the time of Nathan's death.

"There was police cars there, I guess it was SWAT team, the ones that wear all this armor and stuff," says Burris.

In 2011, a drug bust was made at the home on a quiet cul-de-sac, but police said Alexander's parents picked up Nathan, wrapping him in a sheet and telling officers he'd be traumatized if he saw the scene, so police didn't spot the burns.

Three days later, Nathan was dead. "I think they ought to convict him," says former neighbor Jim Burris. "When you do something to a child like he done, then I think it's self-explanatory."

Alexander is also facing a murder charge listed as "non-death penalty," but that's a separate case that was indicted after this one. In this case, he's facing 15 years to life. Sentencing is set for Friday.