Sunday, May 27, 2012

Babysitting dad gets one year in prison for beating death of 1-year-old son (New Haven, Connecticut)

The babysitting dad is identified as MORRIES HILL SR. (Yes, Mom was working.) Prosecutors say they're not sure if Dad brutalized the baby or whether it was his 13-year-old brother. But if the 13-year old did it, wouldn't the older brother be responsible for stopping him? After all, mothers are told they're supposed to stop violent men who outweigh them by 50 pounds or more all the time. At any rate, Dad waited 90 minutes to call for help. Despite his refusal to come clean on what happened, Daddy is practically praised as a saint. Disgusting.

Man gets 1 year in death of infant son

Published: Friday, May 25, 2012

By Randall Beach, Register Staff

NEW HAVEN — Prosecutors don’t know who killed 5-month-old Morries Hill Jr., but they believe it had to be Morries Hill Sr. or his younger brother.

However, lacking any evidence connecting either of them to the infant’s death, Assistant State’s Attorney Stacey Miranda Friday reluctantly had to settle for seeking and receiving a sentence of serving one year in prison for the child’s father for risk of injury to a minor.

“This is a horrible case,” Miranda told Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano. “A year is not enough. We just don’t know which one of these two did it.”

But, Miranda added, “This is a cover-up. The defendant and his brother know exactly what happened to this child. That’s something they’ll have to live with for the rest of their lives.”

Hill, 22, stood in the courtroom with his head down for nearly the entire session. He wore a white sweater because his supportive family had many months ago posted $200,000 bail.

But when Fasano asked Hill if he wished to say anything, the defendant quietly said he loved his son. He added, “I know I was a good father.”

“I have a beautiful young daughter,” he noted, “and I love her dearly, and her mother.”

However, the mother of the victim, Sarai Beall, also delivered a statement. “For the past four years,” she said, “I’ve been living with a broken heart.”

If you did not do it,” she told Hill, “you know who did it. I will never, ever forgive you or your family. One day, you will face the final judgement, because God knows.”

Before Miranda laid out the details of the boy’s death, she noted Hill had pleaded nolo contendere to the risk of injury charge, accepting a finding of guilty but not necessarily agreeing with the allegations.

Miranda said the child was found unresponsive by police and medical respondents the morning of Aug. 4, 2008. Police said Hill, who at that time was 19, and his brother, then 13, were the only others at the Eastern Street home. The child’s mother reportedly was working her night shift job.

Miranda listed the child’s injuries: fractured ribs, bruises all over his head and face, a lacerated liver, retinal hemorrhaging and head trauma. The chief state’s medical examiner determined the baby died as a result of multiple blunt traumatic injuries.

But Miranda said the father waited up to 90 minutes after becoming aware of the injuries before he called 911.

“This man was responsible for that child,” she said. “He knew the baby was injured. He should have called police immediately.”

Defense attorney Robert M. Berke disputed the 90-minute figure. He also read excerpts from about a dozen letters attesting to the defendant’s “good moral character” and “kind heart.” They said he deserved a second chance.

“Morries loved that child with all his heart,” his uncle wrote.

The defendant’s mother, Sharon Hill, came to the courtroom to read a statement asserting that putting him in prison would “devastate” her son and the family.

“My son has lost his beloved son,” she said, and he is still grieving.

“Morries has overcome great obstacles in his life,” she added. She said he “stepped up to be a young father,” which many other men of his age will not do.

She also said he “enjoys helping others” and “gives his all to anything he dedicates himself to.”

Berke noted Morries Hill is a high school graduate and landed retail jobs, securing several promotions. “He is making an effort toward rehabilitation and living a productive life.”

But Fasano said he could not agree to the pleas to keep Hill out of prison. Studying photos of the smiling baby, he said, “I can’t help but see how well-cared for he was. Then to sustain the type of injuries recited by the state — it’s hard to understand how somebody taking care of this child could not be aware.”

Fasano said that while prosecutors could not prove Hill was responsible for the child’s injuries, “the state could prove that this defendant was responsible for the delay in seeking treatment for a child in dire straits.”

Fasano did say he was impressed by the testimonial letters. “He’s from a good family; he has potential. This is not a criminal. This is not a bad kid.”

“But under the circumstances,” Fasano added, “when seconds could have made the difference, this was the worst sort of judgement, especially given the condition of the child.”

“You did not take care of your child,” he told Hill. Fasano said he could not “in good conscience” impose a sentence of less than one year to serve in prison.

He then announced a 6-year sentence, to be suspended after Hill serves one year, followed by three years’ probation.

Even as Fasano was announcing the sentence, judicial marshals were applying handcuffs to Hill and preparing to lead him away. A woman sitting next to the young victim’s mother applauded but was hushed by other marshals.