Jurors Cry at Shocking Videotape Showing OC Dad Torture Baby

A hidden camera shows Joshua Allen Robey, 26, of Costa Mesa punching, strangling, shaking and trying to suffocate his 2-month-old son.

Joshua Allen Robey (Photo courtesy OCDA)
Joshua Allen Robey (Photo courtesy OCDA)
By Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime

Jurors wept with their hands over their mouths and shook their heads in horror Thursday as they watched a videotape showing a father violently punch, strangle and hang his 2-month-old son from a noose-like nursing blanket.

The video was Orange County Deputy District Attorney Barrie Pink’s key piece of evidence against Joshua Allen Robey, 26, who is on trial for allegedly trying to torture and kill his 2-month-old son while babysitting him in October 2011. Robey is charged with attempted murder, torture and child abuse with a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury to a child under 5 years old.

If convicted Robey, of Costa Mesa, faces a maximum 15 years to life in state prison. 

Eva Ponce, the baby's mother, testified Thursday she left her son with Robey the night of Oct. 18, 2011 at her home in Anaheim while she went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Before she left, she set up a hidden camera in a cup full of pens because she suspected Robey was cheating on her.

Her intuition resulted in catching Robey beating, strangling, hanging and swinging their son from a nursing blanket and placing five pieces of tape over the baby's nose and mouth. Ponce said she learned what the hidden camera captured when she returned home a few hours later.

"I asked him if he had anyone here, or if he talked to anyone on the phone. I told him to be honest because there was a video camera recording, and I would find out," Ponce testified. "He said he didn't do anything, but said he hurt the baby a little, and I wasn't going to like it." 

Ponce said she didn't watch the entire video because she "couldn't handle it." 

The seven men and five women of the jury also found it difficult to watch the 55-minute video in its entirety. It included Robey yelling "boo" in the baby's face as he lay on the bed, and attacking his infant son by smashing his face into a pillow, pounding on his chest several times, and dangling the baby from left to right from a nursing blanket. Robey repeated the acts against his son multiple times, and watched television and talked to a friend on the phone between the beatings.

Three of the women jurors were visibly horrified at Robey's actions, covering their mouths in an attempt to muffle their cries and constantly wiping tears streaming down their faces as they watched the baby suffer on the videotape. 

Ponce said after Robey found out he was videotaped, he begged her to delete the footage, started crying and tried to kill himself by attempting to take pills and hang himself with a string from a pair of jogging pants. Ponce said she stopped Robey from taking his life, and asked him to leave.

Ponce slid the video under her mom's door and left with a friend to talk. When she returned home, she went to sleep and the next morning took her baby to the hospital.

The baby suffered fractured ribs, bleeds to the brain and liver injuries, according to Daphne Wong, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Orange County, who treated him after the assault. Today Ponce said her son is a toddler and shows symptoms of the abuse he suffered at his father's hands.

"Sometimes he'll pause when he is in the middle of doing something and [will] just stand still, almost like he's not there," Ponce said.

During Thursday's trial, Robey sat at the defense table with his hands covering his face and sobbed while the videotape played.

This isn't the first time Robey has been charged with injuring one of his children. In March 2006, Pink said Robey pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child in Kerrville, Texas for violently shaking his 1-month-old son because he was "fussy and wouldn't take the bottle."

That baby suffered head trauma and rib fractures from two separate incidents when he was in Robey's care, Pink said.  

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Felicia McGuire August 16, 2013 at 05:45 PM
Everyine is saying he deserive nothing less then life FUCK THAT!!!!!!" He deserves the fuking deth penilty simeone kill his sorry ass
Dominic Mesh August 16, 2013 at 06:23 PM
I disagree Felicia. Fuck this scum! The death penalty will be too good for him. He deserves to spend some time in general population with a huge target on his head and butthole. Fuck him eye for an eye 10 fold
Michelle Lively Enloe August 17, 2013 at 02:14 AM
There is not a punishment good enough for him, but I know that no matter what prison he is in, I don't care how bad the murderers are, they will take care of him and that makes me happy. They do not like baby killers in prison.
Lola August 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM
Great story Nisha as always :)
Patricia Neal August 20, 2013 at 03:19 PM
He should have his arms and penis cut off. I can only pray that someone in prison will do to him what he has done to this child. Also......what is up with baby mom going to sleep after seeing the video and waiting until next morning to take child to hospital. She is equally guilty and should not have custody of this child. She obviously has extremely poor judgement and does not have the brains god gave a goose. I am surprised CPS did not remove the child from the home. She has very poor life skills. Unfortunately, the baby is paying the price.


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