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Morris County Judge Sentences Couple for Deadly Beating of 3-Year-Old at East Hanover Hotel

By rlsmetro on
East Hanover

By: Richard L. Smith 

Morris County, law enforcement officials, reported the sentencing of Edwin Urbina, 29, and Krystal Straw, 29, in connection with the beating death of Straw’s three-year-old son.

Murder

Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll said on January 12, 2023, Straw appeared before the Honorable Stephen J. Taylor, P.J.Cr., and entered an open plea of guilty to two counts of second-degree Endangering Welfare of a Child, three counts of third-degree Hindering Apprehension, third-degree Tampering with a Witness, and fourth-degree Tampering with Physical Evidence.

On March 1, 2023, a jury returned a guilty verdict for Urbina following a seven-day trial.

Prosecutor Carroll said  Urbina was found guilty of first-degree Murder with an Aggravating Factor, three counts of second-degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, third-degree Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, two counts of third-degree Tampering with a Witness, and fourth-degree Tampering with Evidence.

Stepping

On March 16, 2023, Judge Taylor imposed sentences for both defendants during separate court proceedings.

Taylor sentenced Urbina to an aggregate sentence of Life imprisonment without eligibility for parole plus 20 years subject to 10 years of parole ineligibility. The penalty shall be served in a maximum security prison. Straw was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of 18 years imprisonment subject to five years parole ineligibility.

Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll said the two cases arose from an incident that occurred on August 13, 2021.

Shortly after 5:00 a.m., officers from the Morristown Police Department responded to the Morristown Medical Center in Morristown on a report of a three-year-old boy in cardiac arrest.

A subsequent investigation revealed that the child had sustained several physical injuries. Following an autopsy, Morris County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Carlos Fonseca, M.D., determined the manner of death to be a homicide.

Camp The investigation revealed that Urbina fatally beat the child in the early morning hours of August 13, 2021, resulting in the boy’s death, while at the OYO Hotel, 130 Rt. 10 West in East Hanover, New Jersey. The investigation further revealed that the victim’s five-year-old sibling witnessed the murder.

According to Prosecutor Carroll, the victim’s mother, Straw, was not present during the assault but arrived at the hotel shortly after. Following the victim’s death, both Urbina and Straw engaged in conduct to hinder the State’s investigation, including removing Urbina and his personal belongings from the OYO Hotel, deleting cell phone content, and informing the victim’s five-year-old sibling not to speak about the incident.

The investigation also revealed that Urbina had physically abused the victim on prior occasions.

Prosecutor Carroll said on August 17, 2021, Urbina was taken into custody without incident outside the Morris County Records and Administration Building in Morristown. 

Straw had previously been charged and arrested on August 13, 2021, in connection with this incident. Both Urbina and Straw remained in the Morris County Correctional Facility during the pendency of their criminal cases.

Prosecutor Carroll said, “These sentencings bring this terrible and tragic crime to a close. Justice has finally been done for little three-year-old Liam.”