Father Who Threw Son Off Bridge Sentenced To 70 Years

Tony Moreno, convicted of throwing his infant son off the Arrigoni Bridge in 2015, was sentenced Wednesday to 70 years in prison.

Superior Court Judge Elpedio N. Vitale imposed the maximum penalty on Moreno, telling Moreno during a sentencing hearing that his actions “were a culmination of his ongoing hostility with the baby’s mother,” Adrianne Oyola.

“The utter depravity of the crime, a father killing his infant son, speaks for itself,” Vitale said.

Oyola spoke at Wednesday’s sentencing. She said she cannot forgive Moreno.

“Every time I wake up, I pray the nightmare will be over and my son will be in my arms,” Oyola said. “Just know I tried to forgive you, but that’s impossible.”

A Superior Court jury found Moreno guilty earlier this year of murder and risk of injury to a child. Moreno’s attorney, Norman A. Pattis, tried to convince jurors during the trial that Moreno never intended to kill baby Aaden, and only went out on the bridge on July 5, 2015, with the intention of killing himself.

On Wednesday, Pattis argued for Moreno to receive the mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.

“Tony told you what happened. The jury disregarded it. Aaden slipped from his grasp,” Pattis said.

“Mr. Moreno has never asked to be forgiven,” Pattis said. “Mr. Moreno knows he is responsible for his son’s death. He was willing to plead guilty (to manslaughter).”

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Eugene Calistro told the judge Wednesday that parents have a sacred bond with their children, but Moreno cut his own son’s life short.

“There is supposed to be unconditional love. That’s not the case here. That bond was heinously severed,” Calistro said. “He betrayed that bond back on July 5, 2015 when he killed his son.”

On the Sunday night Aaden was thrown from the bridge, Moreno had custody of the baby, according to a joint custody agreement he signed with Oyola just a week earlier. He left home with Aaden in his stroller and walked to the Arrigoni Bridge, sending text messages to Oyola as he walked and from the bridge.

Moreno also called his mother, Denise Moreno, and told her to come pick up Aaden’s stroller and a phone containing pictures of the child. She and her other son, Aaron Moreno, raced to the bridge and called police along the way, but when they arrived, Moreno had already thrown Aaden from the bridge into the Connecticut River.

Denise Moreno and police Officer Austin Smith arrived on the bridge at about the same time. They both called to Moreno, but he told them to stay away from him and started to walk away. They yelled to Moreno to stop, but he kept walking.

Smith, Denise Moreno, Aaron Moreno and another police officer arriving on the scene watched as Moreno grabbed the railing with both hands and hurled himself over the edge of the bridge. Moreno was pulled from the river after about a half hour as police and fire officials started the grim two-day search for Aaden. A kayaker found the boy’s body downstream in East Haddam.

Moreno confessed to a detective in the intensive care unit at Hartford Hospital not long after regaining consciousness. He also confessed to a hospital psychiatrist later on with a police officer present.

Pattis, argued during pretrial hearings that the confessions should not have been allowed as evidence in the trial because of the constant police presence and his medical condition, but Judge Elpedio N. Vitale ruled that the jury could hear testimony on the confession. Vitale said the evidence showed Moreno was alert and aware of the questions being asked