Houston parents charged after baby's death ruled a homicide from blunt force injuries, police say

Miya Shay Image
Saturday, April 1, 2023
Couple charged in 2-month-old's death are no stranger to CPS
Lionel Guerrero, 33, and Yalitza Macias, 27, have been charged after the death of their 2-month-old baby, Roman Guerrero, was ruled a homicide.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A mother and a father have been charged nearly six months after their 2-month-old son died at their home on Houston's south side.

Lionel Guerrero, 33, and Yalitza Macias, 27, are both charged with injury to a child - serious bodily injury in the death of their son, Roman Guerrero.

According to Houston police, paramedics transported the baby from the couple's home in the 6500 block of Beekman Road to Texas Children's Hospital around 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2022. At the hospital, doctors pronounced Roman dead.

Guerrero and Macias reportedly told officials that Guerrero fell asleep with the baby on his chest, and when he woke up, he noticed the baby was face down and not breathing.

However, an autopsy found the boy had numerous internal injuries, as well as evidence of previously healed injuries, HPD said.

According to charging documents, the boy had a incompletely healed skull fracture, two possible brain hemorrhages, multiple old rib fractures, new rib fractures, two incompletely healed liver lacerations, and blood in the abdominal cavity.

A doctor determined the injuries were consistent with non-accidental trauma that happened in the days and weeks prior to the baby's death.

In February 2023, the boy's death was ruled a homicide, with his cause of death listed as "acute and recent blunt force injuries."

An investigation revealed the two parents were the primary caregivers for the baby, according to police.

On March 28, they were charged, and on March 30, police said they were arrested without incident.

Macias appeared in court on Thursday night and a judge set her bond at $100,000. At last check, Guerrero was still waiting on his first court appearance.

Long history with family protection officials

Family members didn't want to open the door when ABC13 visited the home of Guerreo and Macias on Friday afternoon, but court records confirm extended family members live there.

A playscape is outside the home, which would typically be where the couple's little boys would scamper. We saw no such sight Friday.

The visit comes as Eyewitness News learned the couple has an extensive history with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

According to the disturbing child fatality report from DFPS, which ABC13 obtained, Macias and Guerrero were connected to child abuse investigations.

In 2016, a 4-month-old boy was removed from their home after he suffered similar injuries to Roman. That child was placed with a grandmother. At that time, the couple had no other children. Guerrero and Macias made false statements about how the 4-month-old was injured in that case, officials said.

In 2018, the couple was investigated for child abuse relating to another one of their kids. That baby was not removed.

By 2022, the couple had three little boys, including Roman, living with them. On Oct 2, 2022, Roman dies. His brothers were then removed two days later.

In total, that's four young boys within seven years. Both parents remain behind bars.

DFPS is reminding everyone that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. You can report cases of abuse to the Texas Abuse Hotline either by calling 1-800-252-5400, or online.

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