A Florida man who was accused of killing his 2-month-old son by stuffing a sock in his mouth will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Gene Anthony Quinones-Rivera, 27, had initially pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder charges, but changed his plea to no contest on Monday, according to court records obtained by PEOPLE. A judge sentenced him to life in prison without parole.
In December 2016, police in Panama City, Florida say that Quinones-Rivera walked into the police station and told officers a shocking tale of how he had killed his son, Gediaelamir Rivera, in 2015. According to the charging affidavit, he told police that he had put a sock in the baby’s mouth to make him stop crying.
Quinones-Rivera told police that he “needed to pay” for the killing, a sentiment that he has reiterated in the media.
In a videotaped jailhouse interview with the Panama City News Herald, Quinones-Rivera said that he had smoked marijuana that evening, and was “angry” with Gediaelamir for crying. He told police he then stuffed a sock in the baby’s mouth to quiet him, and then went to bed.
In the interview, Quinones-Rivera described what happened seven hours later. He checked on the baby and found that he had stopped breathing. Panicked, Quinones-Rivera — who had been trained as a nurse — unsuccessfully tried to revive the baby with CPR and by putting him in cold water. Nothing worked.
Then, Quinones-Rivera says, he put Gediaelamir’s body in a trash bag and disposed of it in a remote area in Bay County, Florida. He did not notify authorities.
With Monday’s plea, Quinones-Rivera will be sent to a prison in South Florida where he will spend the rest of his life.
Gediaelamir’s mother, Yanoshua Ramos-Melendez, also is charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. She is being held without bond and has not yet entered a plea. It is unclear if she has an attorney.