JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Saturday marks four months since Karissa Garcia tragically lost her 4-year-old son, James Reese Jr.
“He was very helpful. He loved playing with his siblings. He was a very good kid. He had a bright smile,“ Garcia said.
James’ foster parent, Alex Pino, is accused of killing him. This week, Pino was indicted by a grand jury, upgrading his charges from second-degree to first-degree murder.
“Very hard to understand what happened. Very painful,” said Garcia.
According to investigators, James died from blunt force trauma. James was rushed to the hospital in April, where doctors found his injuries showing a consistent pattern of abuse and several fractures, according to the state.
Records show, James’ other foster parent, Michelle Sipko, knew about the abuse. She is charged with manslaughter and child neglect, according to records.
In the next month, the state will decide if Pino should face the death penalty.
“I don’t want him to do the death penalty. I want him to be in prison for the rest of his life,” said Garcia.
Garcia said now she wants justice for her son.
Pino has pleaded not guilty and is currently being held in Duval County Jail without bond.