MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – A jury has found Edwin Urbina, 29, formerly of Morristown guilty on all charges related to the beating death of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on March 1, following a seven-day trial. Urbina was found guilty of first-degree murder with an aggravating factor, three counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, third-degree hindering apprehension or prosecution, two counts of third-degree tampering with a witness, and fourth-degree tampering with evidence, Carroll said.
Urbina is scheduled to be sentenced on March 16 and will remain in custody, Carroll said.
On Aug. 13, 2021, shortly after 5:00 a.m., Morristown police responded to the Morristown Medical Center on a report of a three-year-old boy in cardiac arrest, Carroll said.
A subsequent investigation revealed that the child had sustained a number of physical injuries. Following an autopsy, Morris County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Carlos Fonseca, M.D. determined the manner of death to be homicide, Carroll said.
The investigation revealed that Urbina fatally beat the child in the early morning hours of Aug, 13, 2021, resulting in the boy’s death, while at the OYO Hotel, located at 130 Route 10, in East Hanover Township, Carroll said.
The murder was witnessed by the victim’s five-year-old sibling and a further investigation revealed that the victim’s mother, Krystal Straw, 29, was not present during the assault, but arrived at the hotel shortly thereafter, Carroll said.
Following the victim’s death, both Urbina and Straw engaged in conduct to hinder the state’s investigation including removing Urbina and his personal belongings from the OYO Hotel, deleting cell phone content, and informing the victim’s five-year-old sibling not to speak about the incident, Carroll said.
The investigation also revealed that Urbina had physically abused the victim on prior occasions, Carroll said.
On Aug. 17, 2021, Urbina was taken into custody without incident outside the Morris County Records and Administration Building in Morristown. Straw had previously been charged and arrested on Aug. 13, 2021, in connection with this incident, Carroll said.
Both Urbina and Straw remained in the Morris County Correctional Facility during the pendency of their criminal cases, Carroll said.
On Jan. 12, Straw appeared before Judge Taylor and entered an open plea of guilty to two counts of second-degree endangering welfare of a child, three counts of third-degree hindering apprehension, third-degree tampering with a witness, and fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence.
Straw is scheduled to be sentenced on March 16 and will remain in custody, Carroll said.