Father gets 25 years for killing baby despite mother's plea: 'He still has other kids to raise'

This year, the number of abused children receiving care in Texas has increased, he said.

In fiscal 2017, more than 63,000 were confirmed to have been abused or neglected, according to data from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. There were 172 fatalities caused by abuse and neglect during that time. 

Children younger than 3 accounted for nearly 80 percent of all confirmed child abuse and neglect fatalities over the past five years in Texas, according to data from the family and protective services agency.

Abuse-related deaths were typically caused by blunt force trauma by a father, such as in Jayceon’s death, the data show.

Hopkins said childhood abuse can have a lifelong impact.

“It robs the community of the potential that that person had,” he said. “You’re talking about something that destroys families.”

Prosecutor Stephanie Martin pointed to who Jayceon could have become if he hadn’t been killed.

“Maybe he was the one who was gonna find the cure for cancer,” she argued. “Maybe he was the one who was going to send us to Mars.”

Defense attorney Marilynn Mayse asked the jury to consider putting Dalcour-Zuber on probation.

“We’re not asking for mercy. We’re asking for help,” she said. “We’re asking for help for a damaged person.”

Martin argued that Dalcour-Zuber should have been sentenced to life in prison. She said the father hasn’t shown any remorse for his son’s death, nor has he changed his behavior.

In a jailhouse phone call about the son born after Jayceon’s death, Dalcour-Zuber talked about disciplining.

“He still thinks it’s OK to pull the belt out for a 16-month-old baby,” Martin said. “Two years after killing his second son, he’s talking about taking a belt out to the third.”

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