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TRUMBULL CO. Father gets 9 years in death of son



Published: Fri, January 25, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Girard man was a first-time offender.

WARREN -- A 24-year-old Girard man will spend nine years in prison for causing the death of his infant son and abusing his 3-year-old boy.

Bobby Lee Craven of 703 Trumbull Ave. pleaded guilty last month to one charge of involuntary manslaughter, one charge of felonious assault and two charges of child endangering.

Judge John Stuard sentenced Craven in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court on Thursday to nine years on the manslaughter charge, and a total of nine years on the other three charges.

The sentences are to be served simultaneously.

What happened: Craven was arrested by Girard police in September after his 20-month-old son, Brandon, was taken to Forum Health Tod Children's Hospital and his other son, Robert, 3, was found with injuries.

Craven was caring for the children while their mother, Sandra Faye Smith of Youngstown, was in the Mahoning County Jail after pleading guilty to two counts of child endangering involving the boys.

Brandon died Sept. 19.

Craven had been facing a murder charge, but prosecutors agreed to reduce that to involuntary manslaughter in exchange for his guilty plea.

Assistant prosecutor Sarah Kovoor said Craven, who never had custody of the children, was a first-time offender with a low IQ.

"He had no intention to kill the child," she said.

Craven and Smith are not married, officials said.

House: Youngstown police reported that they were called to Smith's Franklin Avenue home after a neighbor alerted them that a child was walking alone outside in the snow.

The house was described by police as deplorable, littered with beer cans, dirty pots and pans, spilled trash and animal feces in front of the refrigerator, which contained beer, wine and a package of ground beef.




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