A jury convicted a Tulsa man Thursday afternoon on two counts in the carbon monoxide death of his disabled son.
Noel Cruz was charged with second-degree murder and possession of meth as a result of the death of his 8-year-old son, Noah. The boy died after Cruz left his Nissan Xterra running in a closed garage and passed out while his son was in the house near 129th East Avenue and 31st Street on March 24, 2017.
Prosecutors say Cruz needed to be held accountable. They say he was in charge of caring for his disabled son but got so drunk and high, he left his car running with the garage door closed.
“At the end of the day, someone needed to be held accountable. And Mr. Cruz is the person who caused Noah’s death,” said ADA Katie Koljack.
Cruz’s attorney’s and family friends said during the trial that Cruz was not at fault for his son’s death. His attorneys say it was a furnace that put off the carbon monoxide that killed his son.
“It’s a tragedy all around. Nobody wanted it,” said Cruz’s attorney Jason Lollman.
The jury recommended Cruz serve 20 years in prison for second-degree murder and possession of a controlled substance.
His son had muscular dystrophy and used a wheelchair. His mother, Zaneta Campbell, will stand trial for child neglect at a later date. Prosecutors say her husband had a history of substance abuse and she shouldn't have left him alone with their son.
The judge will sentence Cruz next week.