Rivera sentenced to 17 years in death of daughter

Manuel Rivera

A Clifton man was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in prison in conjunction with the Oxycodone overdose death of his toddler daughter, according to court records.

Manuel Rivera, 31, pleaded guilty last month to child abuse resulting in death as part of a plea agreement that called for him to receive anywhere from 12 to 18 years in prison.

Rivera on March 6 told Mesa County sheriff’s deputies he had dropped two Oxycontin pills in his bedroom and was unable to find one of them when he and his family returned from a trip to Denver on March 5. Authorities were called to the family’s apartment early March 6 when 17-month-old Analeisa Rivera was found not breathing, according to an arrest affidavit.

A toxicology report showed the toddler had consumed approximately 13 times what would be considered a normal, therapeutic dose of the narcotic for a child, the affidavit said.

Rivera initially refused to tell investigators where he got the pills, the affidavit said.

The case had been delayed because of questions about Rivera’s sanity. In a report received by District Judge Valerie Robison in October, a doctor with the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo wrote that Rivera is competent to stand trial following a mental health evaluation.


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