Greeley teen pleads guilty in death of 2-year-old cousin | Crime
Today in Weld County District Court, Jesus Cornelio, (DOB 6/1/94) pleaded guilty to one
count of child abuse resulting in death, a class-two felony.
Under the terms of the plea, Cornelio is expected to receive a suspended sentence of 18 years in the Department
of Corrections, which is contingent on his successful completion of 6 years in the Youth Offender System.
According to police and court records, Cornelio, of Greeley, told investigators that he struck and shook his 2-
year-old cousin on March 22 after the toddler tried to grab his cell phone. Jose Cornelio-Espinoza died two days
after the incident.
District Attorney Ken Buck decided to direct-file the charge against Cornelio, who was 17 at the time of the
child’s death, as an adult. That decision opened up the possibility of placing Cornelio within the Youth
Offender System, which has a proven record of rehabilitating young offenders.
“This case is certainly a tragedy for Jose and his entire family,” Buck said. “It also serves as an example of how
filing adult charges against certain young offenders can result in sentencing options that are more appropriate
and have greater chances of rehabilitation.”
Cornelio is scheduled to be sentenced at 10:30 a.m. on July 18.
Deputy District Attorney Ben Whitney prosecuted the case.
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