We posted on this case just recently. Dad DYRELL LEVAR TINDALL has now been sentenced to prison for the shaking death of his 3-month-old daughter. The baby died of abusive head trauma.
Father sentenced in infant's death from violent shaking
By Veronica Gonzalez
Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 5:12 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 5:12 p.m.
A 21-year-old man who initially claimed he had tried to save his newborn baby's life was sentenced to between 11 and nearly 15 years in prison Wednesday for shaking her to death nearly two years ago.
Dyrell LeVar Tindall entered an Alford plea in New Hanover County Superior Court to second-degree murder, which means he didn't admit the act, but admitted that prosecutors could likely prove the charge.
The killing of 3-month-old Samya Miracle Dyer-Tindall happened April 22, 2008, at 2726 S. 17th St., where the baby's mother had been staying. The mother, Brittany Dyer, had left the baby with Tindall so she could take her aunt somewhere.
Emergency responders rushed to the apartment after receiving a call about an unconscious baby. Tindall had called to say Samya had choked and stopped breathing while he fed her. She was later taken to Duke University Medical Center, where she died three days later.
Tindall told the baby's mother after his arrest that he had been feeding Samya her bottle when she suddenly started choking. He said that he tried to save their daughter and gave her cardiopulmonary resuscitation when her tiny body went limp. He told Dyer that he had shaken her to try to rouse her.
An autopsy report told a different story, concluding that Samya had died of abusive head trauma after she suffered severe swelling and bleeding in her brain and in the back of her eyes.
“He was the one who shook her,” said prosecutor Connie Jordan, who added that Tindall failed a lie-detector test. “It had nothing to do with choking.”
Medical examiners also found bruises on her right thigh, a cut by her left eye, a wound on her right earlobe and a tear in the skin that connects the inner part of the lip to the gums. The report did not specify how those injuries occurred.
Nearly a month passed after the baby died before police arrested Tindall on charges of first-degree murder and felony child abuse on May 20, 2008.
When police interviewed Tindall, he told them the same story he had told Dyer, Jordan said. But when a detective brought in a doll so he could show them how he tried to help her, he shook the doll. When asked if it was bad, Tindall said: “It was bad.”
“He had no intention of harming this child,” said Tindall's attorney, assistant public defender Jana Lucas. “He did accept responsibly from the beginning in that he said, ‘I must have done it. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to hurt her.'”
Veronica Gonzalez: 343-2008