TACOMA, WA – Today Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist charged Jake Joseph Musga, 19, with Murder in the First Degree and Rape of a Child in the First Degree in the death of his girlfriend's two-year-old son, C.C. He was arraigned today and pled not guilty. Bail was set at $2 million.
"Nothing shocks the conscience more than the murder of a child," said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "This is a particularly horrifying crime and we will hold the defendant accountable."
On March 30, 2013, at approximately 4:00 a.m., a 911 caller reported that the defendant was in the lobby of the Commencement Terrace apartment complex holding a badly bruised young boy who was not breathing. A nearby witness called 911. Tacoma Police and Fire responded to the apartment complex, then transported C.C. to a trauma center. Medical staff noted C.C. was in "major shock" and his condition was "catastrophically bad." Bruised from head to toe, the child had a blood alcohol level of 0.12. He showed no significant brain activity, and was pronounced dead later that day.
The defendant told Tacoma Police officers that he, his girlfriend, and her son, C.C., lived together in the apartment. Recently the defendant began caring for C.C. full-time while his girlfriend was at work. The defendant claimed C.C. was a rambunctious child who fell a lot and bruised easily.
On Friday, March 29, 2013, the defendant noted C.C. "had more bruises than normal," was quieter than normal, and "wasn't himself." When C.C.'s mother came home from work, they noticed C.C.'s bruises appeared to be getting worse. They contacted C.C.'s pediatrician who advised them to take C.C. to the doctor if the bruises worsened. They discussed taking him in, but decided C.C. "looked too bad" and asked each other, "are they going to think we did this?" They stayed home.
At approximately 6:00 p.m., C.C.'s mother left for the night and the defendant and C.C. went to a park. When the defendant and C.C. returned home, they watched television. The defendant claimed that during this time, he had 16-20 ounces of Pepsi and vodka, which he kept on a window sill out of reach from C.C. He claimed he only left C.C. unattended for approximately three minutes.
At approximately 10:00 p.m., the defendant began to get C.C. ready for bed. According to the defendant, after they were asleep, C.C. fell out of bed. The defendant picked C.C. off the floor, and laid him back into bed. He then realized C.C. was not breathing. The defendant ran into the lobby with C.C., looking for help.
An autopsy performed revealed that C.C. suffered injuries too numerous to count, but there were specific fatal blows to the head and torso. The Medical Examiner stated the injuries resulted from more than a simple fall from a bed, and were consistent with abuse. Furthermore, C.C. suffered significant internal and external injuries to the rectum consistent with penetration by an object.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact Kelly Kelstrup at (253) 798-7792, [email protected].