Monday, April 20, 2015

Dad pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder in death of 6-month-old son; sentenced to 15 years in prison (Vicksburg, Mississippi)

Dad is identified as JAMARO SMITH.

Father sentenced to 15 years in infant son's death

The Associated Press April 18, 2015

VICKSBURG, Miss. — A Vicksburg father has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the shaking death of his infant son.

Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick sentenced 25-year-old Jamaro South during a hearing on Thursday. The Vicksburg Post reports ( ) that the victim was 6-month-old Jamaro Carter Jr., who died in 2013.

South pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder. State law requires that a sentence of at least 20 years be given for second-degree murder, but also allows a judge to suspend a portion of the sentence.

Patrick told South during the hearing that he does not believe South intended to kill the child.

South made no statements during the hearing.

Defense Attorney Chris Green asked Patrick to consider the death as manslaughter rather than a murder while considering sentencing. "We think the facts of this crime fit the constraints of manslaughter, but it also fits the confines of second-degree murder," Green said.

District Attorney Ricky Smith disagreed. "This child had two detached retinas. This child had subdural hematomas," Smith said. "This was not a brief loss of thought process by the defendant. This is in no way in nature manslaughter."

Smith and police have said South was alone with his infant son Dec. 14, 2013, when the boy was injured and later died of head injuries.

The child's mother has not made any statements in the case. Patrick said during the sentencing that he received a letter from her supporting South but the letter was not read publicly.