Friday, October 31, 2014

Dad gets 4-8 years for beating death of 3-year-old son; had refused to return boy to mother and authorities refused to help (Dauphin County, Pennsylvania)

Another update to the killer dads and custody lists. Once again, the backstory is totally omitted.

Here it is in a nutshell. And here are our former posts on this case.

The parents had no formal custody agreement (one reason why mothers should get automatic custody barring any reason why they shouldn't). The father played no role in child’s life until January 2010. Note that the father WAS allowed visitation by mother. In March 2010, the father refused to return child or allow maternal contact. The mother's early May 2010 petition for emergency custody WAS DENIED BY  Judge Andrew Dowling despite allegations of child abuse. The custody hearing was set for June 2010. The child died before then of traumatic brain injury. Though the death was ruled a homicide, no charges had been filed as late as September 2010. The grandmother planned to file a lawsuit against county Children and Youth; I'm not sure of the outcome of that.

Note that STEPHEN DIXON could be out of prison in as little as two years. This was a total slap on the wrist, and one of the worst cases we have covered here in terms of CPS/judicial incompetence and cover up for a custodial father.

Man gets 4-8 years for death of son, 3

Posted: Nov 08, 2012 4:25 PM EST Updated: Nov 09, 2012 9:34 AM EST

By Kendra Nichols

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) - A Dauphin County man will spend 4-8 years in prison for the death of his three-year-old son more than two years ago.

Stephen Dixon, 22, of Swatara Township, received the sentence Thursday after pleading no contest to charges of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, and endangering the welfare of a child in the death of Jayahn Cox-Phoenix.

Jayahn died May 25, 2010 on his third birthday when he was taken off life support at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, four days after Dixon called 911 to report that the boy had accidentally drowned in the bathtub of his apartment in the 3600 block of Chambers Hill Road.

Prosecutors said an autopsy later showed that Jayahn had suffered several non-accidental injuries and that his death was caused by both drowning and a traumatic brain injury.

Investigators believe Dixon became angry and beat the boy after he wet himself, then put him in the bathtub in an attempt to conceal what he had done. Dixon claimed his son accidentally drowned in the tub when he walked outside to let out his dog.

"I don't forgive him. I don't forgive his family," Jayahn's mother, Jasmine Cox said after the sentencing.

Dixon in the courtroom had turned around and looked at Cox and her family and said, "I didn't kill my son."

"I didn't look at him," Cox said. "I don't believe him. I know he hurt my son. There's nothing he can say or do to bring him back."

Cox believes Dixon's sentence should have been longer.

"The sentence that the judge gave out is probably the right sentence," Chief Assistant District Attorney Sean McCormack said.

"I am just disappointed that the laws, the way they are written, do not call for a longer sentence. Neither family is walking away happy today. I do not think anybody can walk away happy from a case like this."

Cox is expecting a baby boy in six weeks. She says she visits Jayahn's grave every week. "I am living in hell," she said. "I just want my son back. I miss him so much."

With credit for time served, Dixon will be eligible for parole in two years.