Man found guilty of murder, child abuse in death of 4-year-old

Giovanni Mejias (undated courtesy photo)

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A man has been found guilty in the death of his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son.

A jury on Thursday found Elis Nelson Ortiz guilty of murder and first-degree child abuse in the death of Giovanni Mejias, according to the office of Kent County Circuit Judge Mark Trusock.

In June, Giovanni was found unresponsive at a mobile home on N. Green Meadow Street SE in Gaines Township.  The Kent County medical examiner ruled Giovanni died from trauma to his abdomen, and that there were several older injuries found on him that were in various stages of healing.

Ortiz maintained his innocence in Giovanni’s death.

“I’m innocent, I wouldn’t hurt no child,” he told FOX 17 in July.

Elis Ortiz – in interview with FOX 17

Ortiz’s family and Giovanni’s mother Sonja Hernandez also recently came to his defense.  

“I lost my child, and Nelson is innocent,” Hernandez told FOX 17 on Nov. 27.  “And he shouldn’t be locked away from his children.”

Ortiz will be sentenced Jan. 11.