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Austintown man pleads guilty in death of daughter

YOUNGSTOWN — Christian Sumpter, 25 of North Roanoke Avenue in Austintown, told authorities Sept. 2, 2018, that he accidentally injured his 4-month-old daughter by tossing her in the air.

The girl, Adaleah Sumpter, was still conscious and breathing when first responders arrived, but she died later at Akron Children’s Hospital.

The Summit County Coroner’s Office ruled her death a homicide from blunt-force trauma to the head.

Sumpter was charged with murder and child endangering, but on Wednesday he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, a lesser charge than murder, and child endangering.

He also pleaded guilty to felonious assault for an incident at his home Sept. 4, 2018, in which he picked up and body slammed a man who went there to help the child’s mother move out of the home. The victim suffered a broken collar bone in the attack.

Sumpter will be sentenced at 2:30 p.m. Monday.

Dawn Cantalamessa, assistant county prosecutor, said prosecutors will ask Judge D’Apolito to sentence Sumpter to 15 years in prison. That is the plea agreement prosecutors worked out with Sumpter, but Judge D’Apolito is not bound by that agreement and could give a different sentence.

Sumpter told police he was tossing the baby in the air when he yawned and lost control of her, Austintown Police Chief Bob Gavalier said. Sumpter said the baby then fell and hit his knee and a coffee table.

He said he put his foot out to stop her fall, but she hit his ankle, fell to the floor and hit her head on two vape batteries.

Police found a glass marijuana pipe on an end table in the living room. Sumpter told police he last smoked at 5 a.m. that day, a police report states. Police also found a small, marijuana cigarette in the bathroom near the baby’s bathtub.

In January 2015, Sumpter was placed on five years probation in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court after pleading guilty to attempted marijuana trafficking. He was living on Packard Street in Warren at the time.

In April 2016, he was sentenced to one year in prison after violating the terms of his probation on the marijuana traffickicking offense, according to court records.

erunyan@tribtoday.com