CALDWELL, TEXAS, April 29, 2013 – Dustin Ray Vaco, of Caldwell, pleaded guilty to Injury to a Child, a second degree felony, and Aggravated Assault Causing Serious Bodily Injury With a Deadly Weapon to a Family Member, a first degree felony, in the 21st District Court in Burleson County on Monday afternoon.
Judge Reva Towslee Corbett presided over the hearing, and sentenced Vaco, by agreement, to 20 and 5 years, respectively. Assistant District Attorneys Joan Scroggins and Lauren Haevischer, represented the State, and the defendant was represented by Bruno Shimek from Bryan.
Vaco was arrested on November 29, 2011 for Injury to a Child, for an offense that occurred on November 10, 2011. Law enforcement was alerted by the Dell Children’s Hospital to an infant suffering from serious injuries. Investigation by Burleson County Sheriff’s Investigator Tiffany Graves revealed that the injuries were consistent with prolonged shaking which occurred in Burleson County. A jury trial was scheduled to begin on April 30, 2013 for the case.
District Attorney Julie Renken praised the work of her team, “These are hard cases for anyone to try, and I’m proud of the work Joan and Lauren put in getting ready for trial.” Asked about the plea agreement Renken explained, “Whether by jury or by plea, sending Mr. Vaco to prison is the least this office can do to try and get justice for an infant struggling to survive after what he did to her. A 20 year sentence does just that.”
The above information was provided to News 3 by Washington County Assistant District Attorney Derek Estep