Wichita Falls man sentenced to 16 years for 2017 murder
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls man accused of causing the death of an infant pleaded guilty to murder on Friday.
Sean Anthony Richardson was sentenced to 16 years in prison as part of a plea deal, according to court documents. He was also given jail credit for 1,726 days.
Richardson was reportedly suspected of causing the death of the 4-month-old victim on May 21, 2017 by striking and/or shaking the infant against a hard or soft object or surface.
According to arrest warrant documents, WFPD officers were sent to an apartment in the 5500 block of Professional Drive for an unresponsive child call around 12:15 p.m.
When police arrived, first responders were performing CPR on the infant. The child was then rushed to United Regional by ambulance and later flown to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.
Officers said when they spoke to Richardson, he said he was the only adult home with the infant that morning. Court documents state Richardson told officers he bottle fed the baby six ounces around 6 a.m. and the child went back to sleep.
Then around 10 a.m. the child woke up again and Richardson reportedly said the baby was sweaty, so he gave him a bath.
Richardson told police, “he was looking around and smiling and everything was fine,” according to court documents. Richardson then went on to say he dried the baby and put a diaper on him following the bath, and the baby was sucking on his hand as if he was hungry.
Richardson allegedly told police he put the baby in a rocker and went into the kitchen to make a bottle, adding he “maintained visual on the child” while making the bottle. He said when he took the bottle to the baby, he noticed the child’s eyes were rolling toward the back of his head and he was unresponsive.
According to police, there was a “gap in time” regarding when the alleged incident occurred and the time Richardson said he asked a neighbor to call 911.
On May 22, 2017, detectives were notified by medical staff at Cook Children’s Hospital that the baby had brain bleeding on both sides and the parents could not explain what happened, according to court documents. Officials reportedly told police the baby suffered abusive head trauma.
The following day, hospital officials contacted WFPD again about the baby’s injuries. They reportedly said the child had significant ligament damage down his neck and spine, and there was no medical explanation for the victim’s injuries besides abuse.
On June 1, 2017, the infant died from his injuries. The body was sent to Tarrant County for an autopsy. The doctor performing the autopsy told detectives the child “would not have been able to track with his eyes, consume six ounces of formula, or suck on his hand” as described by Richardson.
The doctor reportedly said this type of injury would have occurred by some type of force trauma.
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