Involuntary Manslaughter Trial Begins in California

Jesse Alvares
Jesse Alvares

by Crystal Crews
NewsWest 9

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA - Opening statements have begun in San Luis Obispo, California for the trial of Juan Nunez.

He's accused of suffocating five-year-old Jesse Alvares when he covered the boy's face with sand at a 4th of July party on Pismo Beach last year.

Nunez pled not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony child endangerment.

He was dating the boy's mother, and both say it was an accident.

Little Jesse Alvares was born in Odessa.

His father, Kristian, had him buried here after he died.

The San Luis Obispo District Attorney said sand asphyxiation was the official cause of death.

This is not Nunez's first run-in with the law.

He was on parole when Jesse died.

He had served 16 months in prison for a meth conviction in 2003.

NewsWest Nine will be following the trial and we'll bring you the latest developments.