CHICAGO

Joel Chavez Guilty Of Murdering His Four-Month-Old Daughter

03/29/2011 11:33 am ET | Updated May 29, 2011

Joel Chavez was convicted of first-degree murder Monday in the death of his four-month-old daughter Julyssa.

The girl was found dead in January of 2009 as a result of blunt-force trauma and traumatic brain injuries, the Chicago Tribune reports. She had broken ribs and arms, multiple skull fractures and a lacerated spleen.

According to prosecutors, her father Chavez was a "stressed" and "angry" man, who took out his unhappiness with his own life through a pattern of regular abuse of his daughter. The suburban Daily Herald reports that when Chavez's daughter refused a bottle and wouldn't stop crying, he shook her vigorously and threw her onto her bed, causing the injuries that would ultimately kill her.

Defense attorneys argued that he had accidentally dropped the girl onto her bed, and then inflicted the other injuries when trying incorrectly to resuscitate the girl. He didn't realize "that what he was doing while he was trying to quiet the kid was going to cause death or great bodily harm,” attorney Steven Muslin told the Herald.

Chavez is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on April 25, according to NBC Chicago. He will face between 20 and 60 years in prison.

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