San Antonio, Texas, July 10, 2017: Today, 379th District Court Judge Ron Rangel sentenced Joel Soto to 60 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Last month, a Bexar County jury found Soto guilty of the murder of his 2-year-old grandson, Jeremy Soto. Jurors also returned guilty verdicts for the charges of Manslaughter, Arson and Injury to a Child Causing Serious Bodily Injury.
On November 16, 2013, San Antonio police responded to a call for a truck on fire off Rogers Road near Wiseman. Inside the truck, authorities discovered the body of 2-year-old Jeremy Soto. The Medical Examiner later revealed Jeremy had passed away before the fire. Additionally, the 2-year-old had a lethal dose of methamphetamine in his system. During his trial last month, a Child Protective Services case worker testified that the defendant had admitted to using methamphetamine just a few days prior to his grandson’s death. Arson investigators also testified that the fire was not an accident and had originated from inside the truck on the passenger’s side, where Jeremy was sitting.
“It’s tragic enough to have a 2-year-old child subjected to such harm by his own grandfather that ultimately took his life, but then to further it by burning his body - is absolutely unthinkable,” said District Attorney LaHood. “I want to commend Prosecutors Stephanie Boyd and Lauren Glasscock and the jury for exercising justice for Jeremy Soto.”
Murder and Injury to a Child Causing Serious Bodily Injury are first degree felonies, punishable by 5 to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. Manslaughter and Arson are second degree felonies, punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. However due to Soto’s criminal history, his punishment range was enhanced to 15 to 99 years or life in prison. Assistant District Attorneys Stephanie Boyd and Lauren Glasscock prosecuted the case against Soto in the 379th District Court.