Man gets 8 years in death of daughter

YOUNGSTOWN — An East Side man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of his 4-month-old daughter has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Evan E. Lee, 23, drew the sentence Monday from Judge John M. Durkin of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, who found him guilty of the manslaughter charge and of one count of child endangering after a non-jury trial last week.

Lee was originally 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.

The manslaughter charge was a lesser included offense in the murder charge.

Judge Durkin acquitted Lee of murder, of felonious assault and of a second child endangering count following the three-day bench trial that occurred after Lee waived his right to a jury trial.

Lee could have gone to prison for up to 14 years on the manslaughter and child endangering charges of which he was convicted.

Had he been convicted of murder, he would have faced 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.

The judge noted that Ila suffered eye, scalp, throat, chest and arm injuries.

Judge Durkin said Ila clearly was abused, but he didn’t know when or where, or who inflicted the abuse.

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

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