‘I hope you get tortured dude!’ Family of boy beaten to death speaks during convicted killer’s sentencing

Michael Cruz Arroyo was initially charged with capital murder, 2 counts of injury to a child

SAN ANTONIO – After spending nearly four years behind bars, a San Antonio man is now facing 50 years in prison for the death of 4-year-old Cash Briones.

Michael Cruz Arroyo was sentenced years after Cash’s lifeless body was found lying beside him on a motel bed while he was passed out drunk, investigators said.

Prosecutors argued that the timeline of events didn’t add up and that Arroyo consumed a dangerous amount of alcohol after Cash died.

Prosecutors said they had a picture Arroyo took on his phone of Cash and planned to say that the boy slipped in the bathtub.

However, Arroyo later put clothes back on Cash and told Cash’s mother he and his siblings were resting while she took a break from work.

“He stands before you all, telling you he doesn’t remember anything and was drunk out of his mind,” a prosecutor said. “We do know the bottle of vodka he bought well after the death of the victim was consumed all by him. Whatever caused this rage, judge, we read the report and autopsy. It is very clear that there was a lot of rage involved in this case and then a lot of thought of, ‘What do I do in this case and how do I conceal this?’”

The defense called Arroyo’s father to the witness stand, who said his son had a life filled with abuse and alcohol.

“How often do we see it where kids in an abusive home grow up to be abusers,” said a defense attorney. “Kids that grow up in a home where alcohol is rampant, grow up to be alcoholics. Pain begets pain. We are asking you to take that in consideration.”

In the end, Arroyo accepted the plea bargain of 50 years with a charge of first-degree felony injury to a child with affirmative finding.

He may be eligible for parole after serving at least 25 years.

“I hope you live with what you did in your head of what you did to cash,” screamed one family member through tears. “For the rest of your life. For those 50 years, I hope you get tortured dude. You are sick, Michael!”

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About the Authors:

Japhanie Gray is a reporter with KSAT12 News.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.