A 23-year-old father has pleaded guilty to felony murder in connection with the 2017 death of his 4-month-old son.
Ortiz Deion Smothers Jr. was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole Monday afternoon upon entering his guilty plea in Houston County Superior Court.
The term rendered by Chief Judge Edward D. Lukemire was a recommended sentence by both the prosecution and defense, according to a news release from District Attorney’s Office.
Smothers will be eligible for parole consideration after serving a minimum of 30 years.
At 10:50 a.m. June 12, 2017, emergency responders were dispatched 373 Faye Circle in Perry to an unresponsive infant, according to an arrest warrant for Smothers.
They believed the child had probable skull fractures, and the infant was taken by ambulance to the Medical Center, Navicent Health, the warrant said.
The next day, the infant, Omar Smothers, was determined to be brain dead and was taken off life support and died, the warrant said.
“It was determined that the infant had suffered multiple bilateral fractures to his skull,” the news release said. “The injuries were inconsistent with any sort of accidental cause, appearing rather to be the result of a deliberate impact or multiple impacts to the infant’s head.”
Ortiz Smothers, who was staying with his son at a relative’s home, had sole care of the infant on that day, prosecutors said.
A couple of hours prior to the child being injured, Smothers had posted on Facebook about his child being a “crybaby” and how he just wanted to get some sleep, according to the release and arrest warrant.
“It is our hope is that ... (the) guilty plea and sentence will serve as a measure of justice to the family of Omar Smothers, who was needlessly and incomprehensibly taken from the world before he ever had a chance to experience life,” Prosecutor Eric Edwards said the release.