Albertville, AL – An Alabama man, Sebastian Diego Sebastian, who is in jail pending trial for murdering his stepdaughter, has been beaten severely by inmates.
According to KIRO7, Sebastian was charged with Capital Murder in the death of three-year-old Jeannely Maria Gaspar Mateo. The little girl died on January 1, 2017 of injuries that police believe occurred on December 28, 2016, at her home. She had been taken to Marshall Medical Center South for treatment of head trauma but was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, where she died.
Sebastian initially told police that he had tried to throw Jeannely onto a bed but missed. He later admitted to beating Jeannely to death after the little girl asked him for juice. Sebastian was initially charged with Aggravated Child Abuse but the charge was changed after Jeannely died.
Jamie Smith, Assistant Albertville Police Chief, said “You want to hope for the best, but from the beginning we knew it wasn’t a pretty picture for the child.” It is unknown when Sebastian was assaulted in prison but he showed up for court in Marshall County on Wednesday with black eyes that were nearly swollen shut.
Sebastian, age 27, has been described as the child’s stepfather but it is not known if he was ever married to her mother. He has since been transferred to the Blount County Jail for his own safety. In Alabama, a suspect who kills a child that is younger than 14 is charged with a capital crime. If he is convicted, Sebastian could receive either the death penalty or life in prison without parole. He is being held without bond, and the investigation into his assault is continuing.
Sometimes justice occurs in different forms. Even inmates often have their own code of justice, and life in prison for Sebastian is sure to be rough. We grieve for Jeannely, for the life she never got the chance to live.