Alpine man sentenced for death of girlfriend’s infant

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An Alpine man was sentenced June 7 to six years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to child endangerment in the death of his girlfriend’s toddler.

A murder charge was dismissed Thursday by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador, who immediately sentenced Wiley Kevin Foster, Jr., 28. Foster will not face a retrial after jurors deadlocked on Feb. 28.

Foster admitted to personally causing the fatal injury to Leah Rose Brown-Meza, who was 18 months old when her mother found her dead in an Alpine mobile home on Dec. 6, 2016.

An Alpine man was sentenced June 7 to six years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to child endangerment in the death of his girlfriend’s toddler.

A murder charge was dismissed Thursday by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Robert Amador, who immediately sentenced Wiley Kevin Foster, Jr., 28. Foster will not face a retrial after jurors deadlocked on Feb. 28.

Foster admitted to personally causing the fatal injury to Leah Rose Brown-Meza, who was 18 months old when her mother found her dead in an Alpine mobile home on Dec. 6, 2016.

Her mother, Lillie Golden Brown, now 23, is serving a 4-year prison term after pleading guilty to the same charge of child endangerment.

The toddler’s father, Robert Meza, and about 22 other relatives and friends were present to watch the sentencing.

Amador ordered Foster to pay $13,908 in restitution to Meza and $1,548.50 to others. Foster shares this order with his ex-girlfriend.

“Mr. Foster was looking at 25 years in prison in which he would have to serve 25 years before he could be released,” said Jan Ronis, his attorney. “He loved the child and is sad the child died. He was devastated by the child’s death.”

Brown blamed Foster for the death and testified against him, but jurors took 12 ballots before declaring themselves hopelessly deadlocked. A majority favored acquittal.

A video from a deputy’s body worn camera of Brown’s arrest on Feb. 3 this year showed her intoxicated and repeatedly blaming Foster for the death, despite no one asking her any questions. She was also arrested for misdemeanor battery on a new boyfriend.

Foster received credit for 1,092 days in jail, which includes good behavior. Ronis said Foster and Brown will probably be paroled about the same time because Foster has been in jail since Dec., 2016.

“At least we got some justice for her,” said the toddler’s grandmother, Teresa Cousins.

“It is not as much as we would like to have,” said attorney Jan Goldsmith, who represented the girl’s family. “Her spirit will live on.”

Deputy District Attorney Chantal de Mauregne made the motion to dismiss the murder charge after Foster pleaded guilty to child endangerment.

The judge said both Foster and Brown were negligent in not taking the girl to a hospital for a broken arm before her death.

“That lack of compassion, that lack of caring is something this court can’t understand,” said Amador. “This court does believe…this is a fair resolution of this matter.”

“I want to thank you for your courtesy and professionalism,” said Foster to the judge.

Brown and Foster lived with the toddler in a mobile home on the property of Foster’s parents in Alpine. Ronis said Brown had not checked on her daughter for 14 hours before finding her deceased.

Man given 30 years for shooting girlfriend

Jaquan Donte Ramsey, 31, of Spring Valley, has been sentenced to 30 years in state prison for shooting his girlfriend and causing severe injuries to her.

Ramsey was sentenced by El Cajon Superior Court Judge John Thompson who imposed 20 years for using a gun in the crime. Thompson added five years for the attempted murder conviction and another five years for causing great bodily injury.

The incident in the 8400 block of Paseo Iglesia in Spring Valley took place on Aug. 29, 2017. Ramsey fled after the 2:51 p.m. shooting and sheriff’s deputies searched the area along with assistance from ASTERA before arresting him.

Deputy District Attorney Jessica Paugh asked for 32 years. She said the victim still does not have full use of her hand.

“The bullet went through her hand, forearm, and bicep and severed her brachial artery,” said Paugh. “She had to have life saving surgery grafting a vein from her leg.”

A jury convicted Ramsey of attempted murder, making criminal threats, domestic violence assault, and assault with a firearm in April.

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