Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: What happened to the man and his girlfriend who stuffed a sock in his baby's mouth, covered him with a blanket, strapped him in his car seat and put it in the hall closet? The baby was discovered dead by the woman's pre-teen daughter when she came home from a sleepover.
Submitted by: Mary, Sacramento
ANSWER: A Sacramento County jury convicted Tye Malecha and his girlfriend, Cheri Hall, of second-degree murder, child homicide and child endangerment in the 2001 death of Malecha's 19-month old son, Randy.
Both were sentenced in September 2003 to 25 years to life in prison.
According to stories in The Bee, paramedics were called to Malecha's Citrus Heights duplex about 1 p.m. July 22, 2001. They found the toddler dead with apparent injuries to his head, face and other parts of his body.
Malecha told police that he had restrained his son in a car seat before dawn that day because the child was crying. He placed a rag in the boy's mouth and struck him with a spoon and spatula. Malecha then placed the child in a closet and gave him an overdose of cough medicine to quiet him.
Early that afternoon, Malecha and Hall noticed that the child had stopped breathing.
Malecha and the child's mother were getting a divorce, and Malecha had custody of Randy and his two older sisters.
The girls were taken into protective custody when Malecha and Hall were arrested, and at the time of sentencing, they were living with their maternal grandparents in another state.
Hall had three older daughters who were not in the home at the time and were not taken into protective custody, according to accounts in The Bee.
Malecha, 43, is at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, and Hall, 46, is in Valley State Prison for Women in Chowchilla.
Have a Sacto 911 question? Submit it here.