SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The father of Baby Justice Rees pleaded no contest Tuesday to charges related to the death of his infant son.
Baby Justice was just weeks old when he was found dead two years ago in a Yolo County slough.
Frank Rees’s plea agreement lands him six years in state prison.
The infant’s mother Samantha Green was convicted of second-degree murder back in December and was sentenced to 15 years.
It’s been a grueling last couple years for the Yolo County DA’s office and for the families involved.
But during Tuesday’s press conference, the district attorney says there’s finally justice.
“This is not a happy day, baby Justice is dead, and nothing will bring him back, but this is a day that justice has finally prevailed,” said Jeff Reisig.
The 31-year-old Woodland resident pleaded no contest to a number of charges.
“It was administering methamphetamine to Samantha Green which is a felony, felony child endangerment, and manslaughter,” said deputy district attorney Ryan Couzens.
The weeks-old infant froze to death after being left in a slough near Knights landing by his mother in February 2015.
At the time, Green was under the influence of methamphetamine that prosecutors say was given to her by Rees.
“It’s been a long time that Frank actually pays the price for something,” said Ruth Rees.
Ruth is one of Frank’s sisters who tells CBS13 the six-year sentence is not enough and wishes her brother had a steeper price to pay.
“Of course we’re glad he’s going to be in jail, but we’re disappointed because it feels like he’s getting off,” said Ruth.
Rees’s plea agreement comes just before prosecutors were about to reveal evidence in the trial that Rees had a disregard for human life even after baby Justice died.
Earlier this year investigators found Rees and a woman in possession of methamphetamine.
That woman, his new girlfriend, was eight-months pregnant, and their child was born meth positive.
“It was clear to Frank Rees he wasn’t going to prevail, so he plead,” said deputy district attorney Robert Gorman.
The DA’s office is now proud to finally put Rees behind bars.
“With the team that we had, it’s very rewarding personally to see with Samantha Green we got justice, and now with Frank Rees to receive justice as well,” said Gorman
Rees will be sentenced on Dec. 5. If he would have continued with trial and been convicted of all the charges, he could have served a maximum of 9 years behind bars.