SOUTH BEND - Aaron Ayala Silva, 27, of South Bend, and a Raymond High School graduate, entered guilty pleas to murder in the second degree, assault of a child in the third degree, and rape of a child in the third degree stemming from an August 2015 incident. The proceedings took place in Pacific County Superior Court Friday afternoon.
Medics were called to a Willapa Avenue residence in South Bend for an unresponsive 11monthold child. The child was transported to Willapa Harbor Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. Concerned about two lacerations behind the child's ears and bruising on her chest, a South Bend Police Officer opened an investigation. An autopsy revealed the child suffered a cranial fracture and several broken ribs in various healing stages.
Ayala Silva was subsequently arrested for homicide by abuse by South Bend Police Officer Ryan Miskell of the South Bend Police Department and booked into the Pacific County Jail where he was held on $2 million bail.
"While the case was pending trial, Officer Miskell learned that Mr. Ayala Silva had another child and conducted an investigation to determine whether that child had suffered any abuse by Mr. Ayala Silva," Pacific County Prosecutor Mark McClain told the Herald. "What Officer Miskell learned was that the mother would have been too young to have consented to the sexual relationship with Ayala Silva and we established a crime of rape of a child in the third degree and added that offense."
"It certainly says something about the quality of the investigation and I hope it demonstrates the same and for our office to have a defendant agreeing to plead guilty to murder, child assault, and rape of a child without a trial," McClain said.
Officer Miskell added, "This was truly the kind of case where agencies came together to conduct a complete investigation, and I wanted to thank the State Patrol for bringing in their crime scene team and Detective Ramirez from Grays Harbor County, who assisted by interviewing those who only spoke Spanish. This case was also a local team investigation and I wanted to thank the mayor for her support in allowing us the resources to fully investigate this case, and Officer McComas, who was invaluable as a teammate in this investigation. While this was a tragic event, we are pleased to have all of these agencies come together for the benefit of our community, and am extremely happy to have our prosecutor's office secure a conviction -- this was absolutely an outstanding result to such a terrible event."
Sentencing is scheduled for August 5, at 1:30 pm at Superior Court where Ayala Silva faces possibly more than 20 years in prison. Ayala Silva remains in the custody pending sentencing.
Newman Sentenced for Courtroom Assault
Shelly N. Newman, 24, of Naselle, entered a guilty plea to third degree assault and was sentenced to 30 days in jail. On June 15, Newman was appearing in South District Court for an unrelated matter when she was remanded to custody for contempt of court. While being taken into custody, Newman became combative, resisting the courtroom officer and eventually began kicking, attempting to bite and claw the officer before others could arrive and subdue her.
"Ms. Newman was totally out of control and I believed her conduct warranted the felony conviction and a month in the county jail," McClain said. "I believe our officer(s) come to work to protect us and those they arrest do not get to assault them without being held accountable."
Newman will also serve 12 months on probation, where she was ordered to complete a mental health evaluation and drug evaluation and will be required to follow and recommended treatment programs.