Father indicted in 13-month-old’s death; back in court soon
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A Rochester father has been indicted by a grand jury in the death of his baby daughter, for failing to keep his drugs away from her.
Dillon Brito is in jail without bail. Investigators say his daughter ingested his narcotics and died.
Wednesday’s grand jury indictment means Brito will be back in the courtroom in just a few weeks.
“Due to the fact we went into the grand jury prior to this hearing, the grand jury voted to indict at least one felony,” Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Sunderland said.
According to investigators, Brito failed to keep his 13-month-old daughter Dianelis away from his narcotics — and she ingested a mixture of cocaine and fentanyl, causing her death.
Police were called to Brito’s apartment at Chatham Gardens after a 911 call about a 13-month-old not breathing. According to the criminal complaint, a maintenance worker was in the building and heard someone crying and calling for help.
After arriving, first responders found a wrapper inside the baby’s mouth containing what investigators believe to be narcotics.
“We all know that fentanyl is unfortunately everywhere and in every kind of drug out there. And this case was an entirely preventable tragedy,” Sunderland said.
Sunderland says that with the indictment, Brito’s path toward trial will be faster.
“At a preliminary hearing, witnesses would be subject to cross-examination as well as a lot of other requirements — and that would be in open court with defendant present. A grand jury avoids all of that,” Sunderland said.
Reasons why Sunderland says Brito will be back in court sooner rather than later.
“Next he will appear in Superior Court, and probably, I don’t know when in the next couple of weeks; he will appear to be informed of the grand jury choice to indict. And then it will proceed from there. and then we’ll have motions, hearings, and eventually potentially a trial,” Sunderland said.
Brito was in the courtroom Wednesday, mostly looking down at the floor and complying with the judge’s instructions.
Brito was taken into custody on the day of Dianelis’ death on several outstanding warrants from Genesee County, where he grew up. He was released from custody on those warrants last Friday, then was immediately taken into custody by Rochester Police on manslaughter and tampering charges and remanded to Monroe County Jail.
Brito’s arraignment was held in Rochester City Court Saturday morning. During his arraignment, prosecutors said he is a four-time felon. Those convictions include drug possession and robbery in Genesee County.