Dad MARCUS MERRICK was "caring" for the baby when he assaulted her. The baby is apparently still on life support....
Shaken baby’s father is sentenced to prison
By Lou Grieco | Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 02:10 PM
DAYTON — A Kettering man accused of shaking his 3½- month-old daughter, leaving her on life support, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in state prison.
Marcus Merrick, 29, pleaded no contest Oct. 20 to two counts of felonious assault and two counts of endangering children.
“We’re talking about you, an adult, versus a new born baby,” Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Frances E. McGee told Merrick Tuesday. “You’re accountable for that. You have to be.”
Merrick was arrested May 13, five days after Joani Marie Merrick was admitted to Children’s Medical Center. McGee noted that the charges covered two different incidents and that Joani appeared to have suffered irreversible brain damage.
Prosecutors said during the plea hearing last month that, should Joani die, they would pursue murder charges against her father.
McGee said that a pre-sentencing investigation showed Merrick had a “difficult and possibly horrible childhood,” for which she would want to sentence his parents.
“I am sorry that they are not standing here,” McGee said, before adding “your terrible childhood does not excuse you for what happened to this baby, and I can’t imagine what set you off.”
Merrick declined to say anything during the sentencing hearing.
“He is truly remorseful for the events that happened back in May and April” said Merrick’s attorney John Scott. “It was never his intention to cause harm to his child.”
Scott said Merrick made “misjudgments and mistakes,” but “If he could trade places with her, he obviously would.”
Assistant county prosecutor Tracey Ballard Tangeman told McGee that Merrick had “essentially robbed this three-month old baby of her life.”
The infant’s mother was asleep in their apartment, 1235 Imperial Blvd., the morning of May 8, and Marcus Merrick was caring for the child, Kettering police Officer Michael Burke said in May. The mother called 911 shortly after 9 a.m. to say the girl was having difficulty breathing.
Police and medics responded and took Joani to the hospital, where doctors found evidence of brain trauma, according to police reports.
Merrick was arrested based on medical findings and police interviews with him, Burke said.
“He admitted to our detectives that his actions caused the injury,” Burke said. “That’s inexcusable. It’s pretty maddening.”