A Nassau jury has convicted a Uniondale man of manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend’s toddler in an attack prosecutors said he unleashed while baby-sitting for the 18-month-old boy.
After two days of deliberations, jurors on Thursday found Lord Pardo, 28, guilty of second-degree manslaughter, while acquitting him on more serious murder and first-degree manslaughter charges, court records show.
Prosecutors had alleged Pardo committed a “depraved” attack on victim Mason Robinson on Oct. 11, 2015, causing injuries that included a laceration to the 23-pound child’s liver that ended his life.
The New Cassel boy also suffered injuries after a severe beating that included a lacerated lung, a fractured skull and broken ribs, the district attorney’s office told jurors.
Prosecutors said in court that Pardo not only attacked Mason, but then sat by and let him die without calling for help. The child was dead and rigor mortis already had set in by the time Pardo drove the boy to his mother’s workplace in Jericho, according to the district attorney’s office.
The defense argued Mason fell off a bed during a diaper change, then out of Pardo’s arms when he picked up the child to comfort him.
In his closing argument Tuesday, Pardo’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Groder, reminded jurors it was their duty to put aside emotions and judge the evidence objectively.
The Mineola lawyer said while Pardo might have shown “monumental bad judgment,” his client’s actions weren’t criminal.
However, prosecutor Jessica Cepriano told jurors what Pardo did “wasn’t reckless baby-sitting,” but that he intentionally hit the toddler “over and over” and “meant to hurt Mason.”
She added: “The defendant attacked an 18-month-old boy and let him die.”
District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a prepared statement Friday that Pardo “brutally beat a precious and innocent little boy,” and she hoped his conviction provided some comfort to Mason’s family.
Groder said his client is facing a maximum of 5 to 15 years in prison at his August sentencing date.
“While obviously I’m relieved that Mr. Pardo was acquitted of the most serious charges, there are no winners in a case like this,” the defense attorney said Friday. “A little boy is dead and a man is going to prison for something he maintains was an accident. It’s tragic all around.”