December 22, 2022
District Attorney Keith Higgins announces that Maria Miranda Alas, 29, of Kingsland, was found guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter and Aggravated Battery (Family Violence) in a criminal jury trial that took place from December 12-15, 2022 in Camden County Superior Court.
The charges followed the death of Alas’ five-year old son in July 2019. At that time, the five-year old was taken to the Camden Medical Center by Alas who initially reported that the child had drowned. Medical providers, however, quickly determined that the child was not a drowning victim, and was instead suffering from multiple blunt force injuries as the five-year old had a lot of blood in his stomach, consistent with internal bleeding. Due to the severity of the injuries, the child was transported to Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville, FL, where he succumbed to his injuries during treatment.
Following his death, the medical examiner determined that the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries, including a fractured skull, fractured ribs and abrasions and bruises over most of his body.
Evidence presented during trial included multiple statements made by Alas to law enforcement, which at the trial she stated she had lied about. Alas made a statement to law enforcement in July 2019, where she admitted she caused the death of her child but professed it was accidental. During trial, Alas testified that the statement she made in July 2019 should not be believed because it was fictional; however, the medical examiner testified that the July 2019 statement by Alas was consistent with the child’s cause of death.
According to Camden Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Robert German, who prosecuted the case at trial, “Any time someone dies it is a tragedy for a family. For a child to die in such a traumatic way at the hands of a parent is especially tragic, and our prayers go out to the family members.” The jury trial was presided over by Judge Stephen D. Kelley, and sentencing will be scheduled for some time in early 2023. The jury also found Alas not guilty of the remaining charges of Felony Murder, Murder in the Second Degree, Cruelty to Children in the First Degree and Cruelty to Children in the Second Degree. Alas’ co-defendant, Max Mejia Meza, 27, also of Kingsland, accepted a negotiated guilty plea of five years to serve three, to a felony charge of Making a False Statement.
Members of the media with further questions may contact the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office at 912-554-7200.