Man sentenced for killing toddler is set free

Joshuae Preston out of jail

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The man accused of killing a Bakersfield baby three years ago is now out of jail.

Joshuae Preston was sentenced to state prison and today found himself a free man.

It was an emotional day in court for relatives of Guillermo Alvarez who died four years ago while under the care of his mother's then-boyfriend.

It's been a painful few years for Guillermo Alvarez's family.  Since his death, relatives have visited his gravesite every year on his birthday and now the man accused of killing Alvarez is out of jail.

"The family is devastated.  This doesn't change the fact that their two year son was killed, this doesn't bring him back. It doesn't replace the lifetime not going to be able to share," said David Zulfa, Deputy District Attorney, County of Kern.

Preston was arrested and charged for the death.  According to investigators, Alvarez was found not breathing while under Preston's care and an autopsy later showed the toddler died as a result of trauma.

"The reality is there were a number of issues related to the facts that of this case including significant trauma to this child to draw any conclusion as to the ultimate cause of death I think ignores what the jury did," he said.

Preston was released for time already served.  His lawyers say he spent the last three years in state prison.

"The death of Guillermo Alvarez is a tragedy, but that death was due to a disease and that was shown in court," said Paul Derek Cadman, Deputy Public Defender.

Lawyers say Preston loved Alvarez like a father and would never hurt him. 

"The Preston family is very, very pleased that Joshua is coming home to his other children.  Josh has essentially never been in trouble before in his whole life.  Joshua called 9-1-1 at the first sign of trouble and gave CPR to this little boy, but this little boy died of a disease called D.I.C. which is a blood disorder," he said.

23abc reached out to Alvarez's family, but they declined an on-camera interview saying "Preston will be able to hold his children, something we won't be able to do ever again." 

Even though he is no longer in jail, attorneys say Joshua Preston will be on parole for the next four years.

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