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La Mesa couple sentenced to prison for infant son's death

Prison bars
Posted at 11:18 AM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 14:18:24-05

EL CAJON, Calif. (CNS) — A La Mesa couple was sentenced to state prison terms Wednesday in connection with the death of their infant son.

Joel Dwayne Brownell, 30, and Jalena Robin Rodriguez, 33, were arrested in 2019 for the death of their 7-month-old child identified only as Joel R. in court documents.

Brownell was convicted of murder and other charges by an El Cajon jury and was sentenced to 37 years to life in state prison. Rodriguez pleaded guilty to second-degree murder prior to her co-defendant's trial and received a 15 years-to-life term on Wednesday.

La Mesa police said the parents brought the baby to the El Cajon Family Health Center on Aug. 17, 2019, where clinic staff called for paramedics upon examining the child and finding "several serious life-threatening injuries."

The infant was taken to Rady Children's Hospital, where he died two days later. Police alleged the boy's ultimately fatal injuries were inflicted at his parents' home on Rolando Knolls Drive.