Monday, August 5, 2013

Dad with "verbal custody agreement" sentenced for beating death of 7-month-old daughter (Chandler, Arizona)

Another short-tempered young father who never should have had caretaking responsibilities for an infant.

Infants need loving, consistent care. They do NOT need to be passed around like a hot potato in a custody arrangement. They do not violent dads who fracture their skulls because they are "frustrated" by normal infant crying.

Dad is identified as SERGIO THOMAS.

Chandler father sentenced to prison for child abuse

Sergio Thomas, 21, was arrested at the hospital where his daughter died.

By Matthew Longdon
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team
Fri Aug 2, 2013 5:22 PM

A judge sentenced a Chandler father to 36 years in prison and lifetime probation Friday for second-degree murder and child abuse after he beat his 7-month-old daughter to death when she wouldn’t stop crying in 2010.

Sergio Thomas, 23, was arrested in December 2010 after Rylee Thomas died from skull fractures and bleeding in her brain, Chandler police said. Police officers and firefighters found the girl unresponsive in the home, and she was flown to the hospital in critical condition, where she died, police said.

Thomas originally said he changed Rylee and gave her a bottle before going to bed, and he found her unresponsive in the morning, court records show. Thomas said he performed CPR and called 911.

Doctors said Rylee was killed by abusive head trauma, records show.

After his arrest, Thomas told police he yanked his daughter out of bed because she wouldn’t stop crying, and she fell asleep in his arms. A few hours later, Rylee woke up again and wouldn’t stop crying, so Thomas carried her back to her room by her arm and shook her to stop her crying, records show.

When Rylee continued crying, he hit her with “80 percent of his strength” on the back of the head with an open hand and slapped her several times, records show. He left her in the room, and he found her unresponsive in the morning.

He told police he has an anger problem and admitted to hurting Rylee because he was frustrated she had not been sleeping.

“I made a mistake that killed my daughter,” Thomas told police during questioning.

Thomas was separated from his wife, and the two had a verbal custody agreement to share Rylee and an older son on a weekly basis. Thomas said he was the only person taking care of his daughter when she died.