Friday, May 13, 2011

Dad gets 10 years for death of infant daughter (Richmond, Virginia)

Dad PAUL SANLAN FARTHING JR. has been sentenced to just 10 years in prison for killing his infant daughter, after he finally pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree manslaughter. Maybe he didn't think his "clumsy daddy" story would go over well at a murder trial.

May 13, 2011

Father gets 10 years for baby’s death
Doctors said 3-month-old had shaken-baby syndrome

By Ronica Shannon
Register News Writer The Richmond Register
Fri May 13, 2011, 08:00 AM EDT

RICHMOND — A man originally charged with murder in the death of his infant daughter received a 10-year sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter.

Madison Circuit Judge Jeanne C. Logue imposed the maximum sentence for the reduced charge.

Paul Sanlan Farthing Jr. was arrested April 14, 2010, after his 3-month-old daughter, Rylee Jean Campbell, died at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, from what doctors there said was shaken-baby syndrome. She had been in the care of her father prior to her injuries.

Farthing could have faced 20 to 50 years to life in prison if convicted of murder, but the charge of second-degree manslaughter is a Class C felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison.

“You can say manslaughter, but she was murdered,” said Rylee’s grandmother Jean Williamson after Farthing’s sentencing. “Rylee was alive for three months, four days and one hour. My goal is to make sure that he does 10 years for the life of a baby that never got to crawl, roll over or sit up.”

Rylee’s mother, Ashley Campbell, said she was not happy with the sentence, but “.. at least he is going to have to spend time in jail. I wish he got life (in prison), but 10 years is better than nothing at all. It doesn’t bring my daughter back. It doesn’t change nothing. We just have to try and move past it.”

Campbell began to weep as she recalled a recent stroll she took with a friend and the friend’s daughter who is one month older than Rylee would be.

“I said, ‘My daughter should be here with us.’”

Farthing’s attorney, Jim Baechtold, said Wednesday that he will seek shock probation for his client.

“We have between 30 and 180 days to ask for shock probation,” he said. “The purpose of shock probation is to shock a first-time felon into compliance with the law. He’s already served 394 days in custody and will be eligible for parole in approximately 24 months. We’re going to ask for probation.”

Baechtold referred to Rylee’s death as “... a bad accident that rose to the level of recklessness. I find it interesting that the first hospital the child went to released her from their care after performing a head X-ray. In no way were Mr. Farthing’s actions intentional.”

Kentucky State Police Troopers from Post 7 in Richmond and investigators from the state Department for Community Based Services responded April 11, 2010, to a report of a 3-month-old girl being assaulted by her father at a home on Meadowlark Drive in Richmond, according to a KSP press release issued after Farthing’s arrest.

Farthing’s mother, Shirley Farthing, said in an earlier Richmond Register interview that her son was giving the baby a bath in the sink when the incident occurred.

When Paul Farthing turned to reach for a bath towel, his mother said, the child slipped under the water. Shirley Farthing said her son then lifted the child up, accidentally hitting her head on the faucet.

“She didn’t look like she was breathing, so he shook her,” Shirley Farthing said.

The infant first was taken to Saint Joseph-Berea hospital, Shirley Farthing said, where she was diagnosed with head trauma and later released.

The child’s mother brought the baby back to the hospital when Campbell continued to show signs of distress, Shirley Farthing said. She then was diagnosed with shaken-baby syndrome and transported to UK, where she died of her injuries.

Farthing was indicted for murder in June, 2010, by a Madison grand jury.

Farthing caused the child “to suffer traumatic brain injuries which resulted in her death,” the indictment read.