A father in Middletown, Connecticut was sentenced on Wednesday to 70 years in prison without parole for the murder of his 7-month-old son, Aaden Moreno, according to People. On the night of July 5, 2015, 23-year-old Tony Moreno reportedly threw his son “about 100 feet into the Connecticut River in from the Arrigoni Bridge” after his girlfriend, Adrianne Oyola, 19, who is also the child’s mother, ended their relationship.
Tony admitted to being suicidal after his failed relationship, but he told the court that he had no intentions of ending his son’s life. He went on to say that when he approached the Arrigoni Bridge, Aaden slipped from his arms and he fell into the Connecticut River. When police officials arrived at the scene, Tony reportedly jumped from the bridge.
He was rescued from the river and sustained non-life-threatening injuries, but Aaden was pronounced dead after his body was found floating in the river just two days after he was thrown from the bridge. A local medical examiner later determined that Aaden suffered a skull fractured and drowned. Tony’s claims were rejected as a judge stated that text messages between Tony and Oyola proved that he intentionally threw his son over a bridge and into a river before jumping from the bridge in a murder-suicide attempt.
In a text message, Tony sent the following to Oyola as he stood on the Arrigoni Bridge with his son. “You won’t talk to me tomorrow or any other day. Enjoy your new life without us.”
“You won’t talk to me tomorrow or any other day. Enjoy your new life without us.”
“Where’s Aaden?” Oyola asked.
Tony replied, “He’s dead. And soon I will be too.”
On February 22, a jury found Tony guilty of murdering his son. However, before Judge Elpedio N. Vitale gave Tony the maximum sentence, he told him that his actions “were a culmination of his ongoing hostility with the baby’s mother.”
“You taunted his mother as you committed the act with text messages that can only be described as demonic. At any point in the two-mile walk to the bridge, you could have stopped and gone back. You wouldn’t be deterred from committing this heinous act.”
Prior to Aaden’s death, it was uncovered that Oyola had filed a restraining order against her son’s father, claiming that he was “mentally and physically abusive.” She said, “He [Tony] has told me he could make my son disappear any time of the day. He told me how he could make me disappear, told me how he could kill me.”
“I sometimes am scared to sleep. He told me he would put me in the ground and put something on me to make me disintegrate faster,” Oyola added.
State Senator Mae Flexer stated that “this tragedy was preventable and I am again calling for increased training requirements for all judges and court personnel who work with victims of domestic violence.”
“For years I have been working to increase training requirements for judges and any such requirements have been met with great resistance by the Judicial Branch. Failure to protect this baby when the signs were so clear is unacceptable.”
After Tony’s sentencing, Oyola read a brief statement outside of the courthouse. She said, “Now Aaden can rest in peace knowing that justice is served. Please continue to respect my privacy while I continue to mourn my son. Please keep Aaden in your prayers and thoughts.”
“I still remember what it felt like to hold him [Aaden],” Oyola continued. “Most of all, I remember the cuddles, the kisses, the love.”
“You took my whole world from me,” she said, speaking to Tony.
“Every time I wake up, I pray the nightmare will be over and my son will be in my arms. Just know I tried to forgive you, but that’s impossible.”