BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) – Parents were sentenced Thursday morning for the death of their young baby.
Their child, just 18 days old, was found dead on a hotel room floor in April 2016.
The father, Gage Roberts, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison on a second-degree murder conviction.
Prosecutor Melissa Allen said she believes the father not only killed the child in Bakersfield, but also a child in Kansas.
The parents had another child who died in Kansas, and both cases were "strikingly similar," according to court documents.
The mother, Debra Roberts, was convicted on a child cruelty charge, and she was given felony probation with credit for time served in Kern County jail. She was also ordered to undergo “in-house treatment,” Allen said.
The prosecutor said the local baby’s death wasn’t ruled a homicide by the coroner’s office – it was ruled undetermined – so they had to put “the pieces of the puzzle together” to make their case. Allen said they combined the evidence from this case, along with the facts from the baby’s death in Kansas, to argue that the father was a killer.
Allen said she now hopes the couple will be prosecuted by Kansas authorities for the baby’s death there.