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Defendant convicted of manslaughter in baby’s death

Published: Fri, August 22, 2014 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken



A judge acquitted Evan Lee of murdering his 4-month-old daughter, but found him guilty of the lesser-included offense of involuntary manslaughter.

Judge John M. Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court announced his ruling Thursday after a nonjury trial that began Monday after Lee waived his right to a jury trial.

Lee, 23, originally was charged with murder, felonious assault and two counts of child endangering in the May 13, 2013, death of his daughter, Ila Lee, in their Woodside Avenue home on the East Side.

The judge convicted Lee of one count of child endangering, acquitted him of the other child-endangering charge, and acquitted him of felonious assault.

Lee could get three to 14 years in prison when he is sentenced at 11 a.m. Monday.

Had he been convicted of murder, he would have been facing 15 years to life in prison.

A doctor who treated the baby at St. Elizabeth Health Center said her fatal brain injuries were caused by “violent, whiplash shaking,” but a forensic pathologist testifying for the defense said there were no marks and no evidence on the baby’s torso to suggest someone held and shook her.

The Summit County Coroner’s Office ruled Ila’s death a homicide due to complications of blunt-force trauma to her head.

“There is clear and uncontradicted evidence and testimony” that Ila suffered eye, scalp, throat, chest and arm injuries, Judge Durkin said.

“It’s clear to me that an abuse took place. I just don’t know when or where,” or who abused her, Judge Durkin said.

The judge convicted Lee of involuntary manslaughter because he said Lee recklessly caused his daughter’s death as a result of endangering her.

Douglas King, the defense lawyer, declined to comment on the judge’s decision.

“The only person who was there who knows exactly what happened is the defendant,” said Rebecca Doherty, chief of the criminal division of the county prosecutor’s office.

“I have the medical evidence showing that she was abused,” said Doherty, who prosecuted the case. “These cases, by their very nature, are so hard to prove.”


1kensgirl(1061 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

Really? That POS should be glad I'M not the judge. I'd hang him in the public square. Anyone who kills an innocent child should suffer the same fate. Poor little girl. Never had a chance.

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2mrgibson(316 comments)posted 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm 100% with you on this one kensgirl
I'll supply the rope and we'll both pull the lever

No healthy child suddenly dies from a "whiplash" type of injury.
Conclusive proof couldn't be produced so the judge had to abide by the law.
I can't imagine the judge was very happy to hand this gutless baby murdering coward such a light sentence.

Seem we're constantly hearing about a child being murdered,seriously hurt,sexually abused ect.....
And a new one this spring.....
Mom allowing her children to be used by a sick ass uncle and his scumbag pals as moving targets

Mom was paid in cigaretts for allowing these rat bastards to inclict fear and pain on her kids

It's time to bring back the orphanage system so these kids stand a chance to grow up in dignity and with an education.
And how do we pay good,careing,qualified people who would be held 100% accountable for the proper and humane care of the children ?

We simply yank their scummy so called parents off the govt tit !!
And those who work and abuse or harm their children we garnish their wages and keep their tax refund

Our children should be loved and protected from harm no matter how expensive or what we have to do.
This problen is totally out of control.
We hear about a child being killed,sexually abused,beaten,starved and uncared for almost every day

This disgraceful situation isn't going to change until we get the children out of the terrible and dangerous situations far to many are caught up in through no fault of their own

Death to all child killers and rapists !!

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