I-Team: Prosecutors will seek death penalty against couple accused of killing toddler

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — OCT. 22nd UPDATE: Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against a couple accused of killing a toddler. In July, 2-year-old J.J. Newman’s father, Chad Newman, 27, and Newman’s girlfriend, Haydee Razo, 36, were arrested in connection with his death. The death assessment committee met and came to a final decision on Monday.

OCT. 16th STORY: LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A committee is expected to review whether prosecutors should seek the death penalty against a couple accused of killing a toddler. J.J. Newman died in February 2019. In July 2019, his father, Chad Newman, 27, and Newman’s girlfriend, Haydee Razo, 36, were arrested in connection with his death. In October, a grand jury indicted them on murder and child abuse charges.

“He’s gonna rot in jail forever,” Shelby Mannino told the I-Team. Mannino is J.J. Newman’s maternal grandmother. 

On Wednesday, she waited hours for the couple’s appearance in Clark County District Court, but their arraignment was continued.

“It brings up a lot of memories about J.J. when I see them,” Mannino said. 

North Las Vegas Police said they found J.J. unresponsive in the couple’s home with bruises, cuts, and bed bug bites. The agency also said the child’s body resembled a skeleton. 

Doctors and nurses said J.J.’s case was one of the worst cases of malnourishment they had seen, according to an arrest report. Mannino told the I-Team she was informed by the Clark County Coroner’s Office that the child also had methamphetamine in his system. 

In an exclusive interview with the I-Team in July, Mannino said she reached out to North Las Vegas Police and Child Protective Services after she unsuccessfully tried to make contact with J.J. several times. CPS does not comment on specific cases, but the I-Team tracked down a document which states a referral was received and coded information only just one week before J.J. died. 

Mannino said no one from Clark County has followed up with her after the I-Team’s report. “Nobody’s called me. Nobody’s reached out,” she told the I-Team.

According to an arrest report, Chad Newman was previously investigated by Child Protective Services in California in connection with two other children. That case was determined to be unsubstantiated and closed. 

The committee that will consider the death penalty is expected to meet Oct. 21. The couple is expected to return to court on October 22. 

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