DA: Guilty Manslaughter Plea in Starvation Death of Hudson Valley Child
In what has been referenced as a 'disturbing death' of a Hudson Valley child in February of 2021, a woman who previously dated the child's father has pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree.
On Wednesday, March 16th, 39-year-old Leticia Bravo of Newburgh entered into a guilty plea on the Manslaughter charges in connection with the starvation death of then seven-year-old Peter Cuacuas. At the time of the boy's death, Bravo was said to be his primary caregiver.
The Orange County DA's office stated that pursuant to the plea agreement during the guilty plea, they will recommend that Bravo be sentenced to 15 years in state prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.
Sentencing is set for June 21, 2022.
Back in February, 54-year-old Arturo Cuacuas, also of Newburgh, who is the boy's father, pleaded guilty to the felony of Criminally Negligent Homicide. The DA shared that pursuant to the plea agreement, Cuacuas will be sentenced to one and one-third to four years in state prison. His plea agreement also required that cooperate against Bravo.
The prosecution alleged that seven-year-old Peter had been kept 'secreted' inside the city of Newburgh apartment where Bravo resided, locked in a secret bedroom behind a door that locked from the outside. Bravo allegedly became his primary caregiver during the school year that began in September 2020, and since January of 2021, the young boy never signed on for his virtual school sessions despite a number of conversations teachers and school representatives had with Bravo.
The father, Arturo Cuacuas was not living with Bravo, or his son, at the time of his death, and admitted that in the months leading up to his son's death, he would only see him once a week, on Saturdays, and did notice his deteriorating condition. Cuacuas stated that Bravo failed to take appropriate steps to help Peter.
Bravo later admitted that she failed to provide him with the medical attention she knew he needed, and stated that she 'intended on causing physical injury to the boy and that she recklessly created a grave risk of serious physical injury to the boy, which ultimately culminated in his death.'
Shortly after 8:00 AM on February 10, 2021, Bravo reportedly brought Peter's 'lifeless body' to St. Luke's Hospital in Newburgh, where he was pronounced dead. Autopsy reports indicated that Peter only weighed 37 pounds, and died as a result of malnutrition.