The search is on for a man accused of Second-Degree Murder in the death of his 1-year-old son. Both Norman police and the Cleveland County DA confirm an arrest warrant has been issued for 23-year-old Zekeil Trinidad after he fled the courthouse on the day he was to be sentenced.
Norman Police say Trinidad did show up for his plea and sentencing at the Cleveland County Courthouse on Thursday morning, but right before he was set to go before the judge he left the courtroom and then ran out of the courthouse and fled on foot before anyone knew he was gone.
Court records show Trinidad was out on a $20,000 bond while he was awaiting his sentencing; a bond Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn says he wished was set a lot higher.
“He had made bond and was sitting at the back of the courtroom an apparently got cold feet and didn't stick around to be sentenced,” said Mashburn.
Both Trinidad and the baby's mother, Courtney Lynn Mays, were charged with one count of Second-Degree murder and two counts of Child Neglect in the death of their 15-month-old son.
Court records show back on August 31, 2015, Norman Police were called to the Travelodge motel near I-35 about an unresponsive child but the child was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The affidavit state both Mays and Trinidad claimed the baby became entangled in his car seat when he and his two young siblings were left alone in the motel room. But court papers reveal surveillance video at the motel showed Mays and Trinidad left their children alone in the hotel room for almost two hours, with no supervision, and that it resulted in the death of their 15-month-old son. Mashburn says both parents were considered a flight risk.
“Especially when people are facing this magnitude [of a crime] they are, by nature, by human nature, a flight risk, because these charges carry significant time in the penitentiary. We know when someone's facing that they’re going to be a flight risk.”
Court records show Mays was convicted on all charges in July and received a sentence of 30 years in prison. Trinidad was to receive the same sentence. But now that he's on the run, he could be facing even more serious charges and an even stiffer sentence.
“People facing this amount of prison time aren't likely to stick around. But you never know, they may be living with friends and stayed in town. But until he's picked up on the warrant and brought back to court, we won't be able to deal with him.”
Police say right now they have no idea where Trinidad could be, but say his mother does live in Norman. However, they say she has not had contact with him, to their knowledge. She was with him in court on Thursday.
The judge has issued an arrest warrant and a $120,000 bond for when he is captured.