Airman at Phoenix-area base charged with second-degree murder of his baby

May 11, 2018, 12:12 PM
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)...
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — An airman at Luke Air Force near Phoenix has been arrested and charged with the second-degree murder of his infant son, authorities said.

Staff Sgt. John Centano was taken into custody Tuesday by Buckeye police for the June 2017 death of his 3-month-old. He was also charged with child abuse.

An autopsy revealed the baby had died of complications from head trauma, and his death was ruled a homicide. He had suffered brain hemorrhages and hematomas.

Centano, who was alone with the baby, told police he had taken him to an nearby emergency room after finding the boy unresponsive at home.

The child was then transferred to Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police records showed Centano told slightly different stories to authorities and hospital staff and had suggested the large family dogs had hurt the baby.

The report also stated that based on interviews with Centano and the baby’s mother, no one else had been with the boy in the 24 hours before he died.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled May 18 at Maricopa County Superior Court.

The Air Force Times reported that Centano was a maintainer with the 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at the base just outside of Glendale.

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Airman at Phoenix-area base charged with second-degree murder of his baby