Sacto 9-1-1
May 29, 2012
Parents admit to murder in beating death of 22-month-old son

A mother and father admitted today to second-degree murder charges in the Aug. 20, 2009, beating death of their 22-month old son.

Theresa Harper, 27, and Paul Gappo Harper, 31, entered their pleas on the day that attorneys had been scheduled to deliver their opening statements to two juries that had been empaneled in Sacramento Superior Court.

They were charged in the killing of Paul G. Harper Jr., who Deputy District Attorney Chris Ore said in court today had been severely battered the day that paramedics responded to their home on South Avenue in the Del Paso Heights area.

Judge Steve White scheduled the sentencings on the parents for July 20.

The second-degree murder conviction carries a term of 15 years to life in prison. Paul Harper also pleaded no contest to child abuse resulting in great bodily injury or death, which carries a term of 25-to-life.

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