Mark Paniagua was like a father figure to his 2-year-old nephew, whose own dad was not in his life, the child’s mother testified Friday in Travis County court.
The young mother, struggling to answer questions between tears, said Paniagua helped her son, Carlos De La Rosa, with his cast and taught him how to walk again. He often watched all of her children, and she would have never believed he could have hurt one of them, Dolores De La Rosa told jurors in the sentencing phase of a trial for Paniagua, who on Thursday was convicted of murder in the boy’s death.
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