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County man accused of killing child while intoxicated


A Doña Ana County man stands charged after sheriff’s deputies said he killed his young son on July 7.

Joseph Isaiah Parra, 31, stands charged with abuse of a child resulting in death after deputies say he killed 5-month-old Apollo Parra at the family residence on the 8700 block of N. Valley Drive. Parra denied harming his son, according to an affidavit.

Parra remains in jail as of this article’s publication.

Chaotic journey to hospital

According to court records, Apollo’s mother contacted the police after talking with Apollo's father, fearing for her child’s life. The mother was at work, and she told 911 dispatchers when she received a call from Parra around 1:30. Parra told the mother that Apollo was not breathing and that he had not called 911. She told him to do so and said he responded, “Call 911 now?”

She also noted to investigators that Parra sounded drunk on the phone.

She also roused Apollo’s grandparents for immediate aid. Deputies said in court records that Apollo’s grandparents drove to Parra’s house immediately.

As the grandparents arrived, they told Parra to call an ambulance, to which Parra responded that he didn’t want to because “it would be a process.”

The grandparents then took Apollo from Parra and began driving to the hospital while performing CPR on Apollo. A deputy intercepted the grandparents and took over CPR until an ambulance arrived and transported Apollo to a Las Cruces hospital.

Apollo was then flown to an El Paso hospital for more intensive treatment but succumbed to his injuries and died. The exact date and time of Apollo’s death was not known to a spokesperson from DASO who spoke with the Bulletin about the death.

In the affidavit, investigators noted that Apollo had bruising around his left eye and a mark on the right side of his torso. The mother told investigators those injuries had not been present earlier in the morning.

Drinking, drug use, domestic violence, and questions of attention

Parra initially denied drinking when he first encountered deputies, according to the affidavit, while smelling of alcohol and slurring his words.

Later, Parra admitted to having two bottles of tequila. Investigators later discovered 11 tequila bottles of various sizes scattered around the house. It was unclear from the affidavit whether all 11 bottles had been consumed that day. Police also found cannabis in the same bedroom where Parra sleeps.

Apollo’s mother also told investigators that Parra had not been drinking except for one incident about two weeks before Apollo’s death that led to Parra being charged with battery of a household member.

The mother also noted that Apollo’s three-year-old sibling tended to jump on the bed even when Apollo was on it.

Parra’s description of events

According to the affidavit, Parra denied hitting Apollo or causing his death.

He told DASO that he last seen Apollo at either 9:30 a.m. or 10:30 a.m., four to three hours before the call between him and Apollo’s mother. At the time, Parra said he’d seen Apollo alive and well.

After changing the diapers of the other children, Parra went to change Apollo and noticed he was “lifeless.” He said he began tapping on Apollo to get a response but got none. At that point, he called Apollo’s mother.

Parra also said that when EMTs arrived at his home, he was unaware that Apollo’s grandparents had taken him away, according to the affidavit, which reported that Parra’s statements were inconsistent throughout the interview.

The 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office filed a motion requesting a judge hold Parra in jail without bond. That hearing is scheduled for July 11.

child death, Joseph Parra, drinking