Friday, August 22, 2014

Dad found guilty of 1st-degree murder in beating death of 7-week-old daughter; baby killed the first time he did infant care alone (Waterloo, Iowa)

Actually Daddy managed to kill the baby within ONE HOUR of his first attempt at infant care. It's too bad we don't have longer maternity leaves in this country....

Dad is identified as TREVOR EUGENE SMITH.

Father sentenced in daughter's death

August 18, 2014 5:00 pm • By Jeff Reinitz

WATERLOO | Aubriana Christian’s mother said she still struggles to understand what happened.

The 7-week-old baby girl died days after paramedics and police found her unresponsive in her Waterloo apartment Sept. 26, 2012. Jurors later found the child’s father, 28-year-old Trevor Eugene Smith, guilty of first-degree murder and child endangerment causing death.

On Monday, Samantha Christian told the court of her struggles with the loss in the form of a letter she wrote to the daughter.

“I’ve replayed it over and over in my mind, trying to imagine what went through your daddy’s mind. I can’t. I simply can’t bring myself to even fathom the thoughts that could have possibly entered his mind,” Samantha Christian said.

Prosecutors said Smith was left alone with Aubriana for the first time after the mother returned to work following maternity leave. About an hour after she left, Smith called 911 to report a problem with the child.

Authorities said Smith eventually admitted to shaking the baby because she wouldn’t stop crying. He said he also dropped her on a bed and let her fall back onto a changing table.

“I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect you. I’m sorry you can’t be here to grow and laugh and play,” Samantha Christian said.

“We found justice for you, so you can rest peacefully, now,” she said.

Judge Kellyann Lekar sentenced Smith to life without parole, which is the mandatory sentenced for first-degree murder. Child endangerment is punishable by up to 50 years in prison, but that charge was combined with the life term. He also was ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution.

Smith declined to address the court Monday.

The defense requested a new trial, arguing that the state improperly used its witnesses to discredit a defense doctor before she could take the stand to testify. Lekar dismissed the motion for a new trial.