Saturday, 16 October 2010

SBS: Fairfax county case

A Fairfax County man who admitted shaking his infant son to death last year was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison after an emotional hearing in which his wife - pregnant with their second child - asked the judge for mercy.
Dylan M. Price was 9 months old and lived with his parents on Spillway Court in the Burke area. His father, Herbert M. Price Jr., 30, was a stay-at-home dad, and his mother, Stacy L. Maddox, 28, worked full time.
On Sept. 22, 2009, Price called 911 to report that the baby was unresponsive. Dylan was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Dylan was a "healthy, chunky, roly-poly boy," said his aunt, Amy Compton.
"He was just a joy," said his grandmother Vicky Smith. "Always had a smile on his face."
Fairfax Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kathryn S. Swart said Price's actions after Dylan's death compounded his problems.
When paramedics arrived at the home, Swart said, Price never mentioned anything about shaking the baby. At the hospital, he did not discuss shaking the baby. In his initial contacts with police, he also didn't mention that, Swart said.
The state medical examiner suspected that Dylan was a victim of shaken-baby syndrome and sent lab tests and other physical evidence to an expert. Swart said the expert confirmed the finding. In December, Dylan's death was declared a homicide.
In the intervening three months, neither Price nor his wife called police to check on the investigation into their son's death, Swart said. Defense attorney Peter D. Greenspun said detectives told the couple that the police would contact them.
On what would have been Dylan's first birthday, Dec. 22, Fairfax homicide detectives contacted Price and asked to interview him. The next day, Price admitted to Detective Brian Colligan that he had shaken the baby and "didn't stop until Dylan's eyes closed and he lost consciousness," Swart said. Price could not remember why he was angry with the child, she said
Price also told Colligan that he had shaken his son two weeks earlier but that Dylan had cried and Price had stopped, Swart said.
Price was indicted in January on a murder charge. In July, he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Swart said she agreed to the plea, rather than launching a murder trial, because Price took responsibility for his actions, didn't have the intent to kill a child he obviously loved and faced up to 10 years in prison.

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