PHOENIX, AZ (February 18, 2011) – Judge Susanna Pineda today found Justin Richard Sobolik (DOB 12/24/81) guilty of one felony count of child abuse and one felony count of first degree murder in connection with the death of 7-month old Logan Balk. He faces the possibility of life in prison when he is sentenced on March 18th, 2011.
“I commend the Judge for delivering a just verdict for this especially brutal death of an innocent child,” said Maricopa County Bill Montgomery, whose office successfully prosecuted the case. “As a civilized society, we must hold accountable those who harm the most vulnerable among us and punish them severely for their crimes,” he added. “I want to especially note the hard work of the Deputy County Attorneys who presented this case. It is hard enough to read about the death of a child let alone learn the details of such horrific acts to properly prosecute it.”
On August 3, 2006, Sobolik was left to babysit his girlfriend’s 7-month old child, Logan Balk. The child had spent that morning in the care of his mother, who worked across the street from her apartment complex at a convenience store. Sobolik later told police that the child ate and went to sleep, but later began to cry and suddenly went limp. Sobolik called 911 and, after police and fire fighters arrived, called the child’s mother who rode with Logan to the hospital. The child was found to have a brain hemorrhage and bilateral retinal hemorrhages. Efforts to stabilize Logan were unsuccessful and he died from his injuries.
Sobolik was arrested after an autopsy determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma and the manner to be homicide. While in custody, Sobolik admitted to another inmate that he had become angry and shaken Logan, hitting his head and throwing the infant into his crib.
The count of child abuse carries a possible sentence of 10 to 24 years; the first degree murder count carries a sentence of life with the possibility of parole after 35 years or natural life. Both sentences must be served consecutively.