Family ‘seeking answers’ as man charged in his 6-year-old brother’s death

Angelica Garcia
Angelica Garcia Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department

A Sacramento man and his girlfriend suspected in the death of the man’s 6-year-old brother were arraigned on Wednesday in a Sacramento courtroom as disbelieving family members watched.

Miguel Uribe, 22, faced Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet on charges of inflicting “unjustifiable physical pain and injury” on Uribe’s little brother, Ralph Serna, early Monday causing the kindergartener’s death. Uribe’s live-in girlfriend, Angelica Araiz Garcia, 26, then faced the judge on charges of suspicion of child endangerment in the boy’s death.

The two will return Feb. 21 to Sacramento Superior Court.

Minutes before the hearing, Uribe’s mother and other family huddled in the corridor outside the courtroom at Sacramento County Main Jail, telling reporters of the happy life the young victim lived and their shock that Uribe now faces charges in his brother’s death.

“Never in a million years did I think that this could happen,” the siblings’ mother, Maria Elizabeth Resendez said, describing Uribe through tears as “calm, patient and fun.”

“We know he didn’t hurt his brother. There’s not a doubt in my mind,” she said. “I know my son would never hurt his little brother.”

A few months ago, in November, Resendez gave Uribe temporary custody of his little brother, she said.

Ralph liked to sing and dance. He loved Spiderman and his older brother. But Resendez said Ralph also had emotional issues of which his family and older brother were well aware and were handling – “mood issues,” family members called them – that included tantrums that could make life in their words “overwhelming.”

The call to the apartment complex in the 7300 block of Power Inn Road came early Monday. Sacramento County deputies arrived just before 7 a.m. after Sacramento Metro Fire responders found the 6-year-old dead inside the apartment. Deputies soon developed the probable cause needed to arrest Uribe and Garcia in the boy’s death, sheriff’s officials said.

Resendez said she hasn’t had a chance to talk with her son since his arrest. He remains held without bail at Sacramento County Main Jail. But Resendez’s sister, also named Maria, said they also have questions for Garcia about what happened.

Garcia’s attorney, David W. Dratman, declined comment following the afternoon hearing. But prosecutors will likely have questions of their own. Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Eric Kindall told Sweet that prosecutors are looking at Garcia’s involvement and considering filing more serious charges.

Garcia is also being held in lieu of $500,000 bail at Sacramento County Main jail.

“We’re in the dark. We’re seeking answers as well,” said Resendez’s sister, Maria Christina Resendez, said. “We don’t want to take the focus off of her. She was in the home as well.”

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith