FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 28, 2012
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District Man Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Cruelty to Children
- Defendant Shook Infant Son, Causin Serious Injury -
WASHINGTON –Jerome Ortiz Drayton, 20, of Washington, D.C., has pled guilty to a charge of second-degree cruelty to children stemming from an incident in which he shook and seriously injured his baby son, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced today.
Drayton pled guilty on Sept. 25, 2012 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Honorable Gerald I. Fisher scheduled sentencing for Nov. 29, 2012. Drayton faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
According to the government’s evidence, on the afternoon of June 16, 2012, Drayton was caring for his son, then four months old, while his girlfriend was out of the home in Southeast Washington. The baby became fussy and Drayton shook him to silence him. Drayton called 911, and the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department arrived to find that the infant had stopped breathing. The child was transported to Children’s National Medical Center.
Doctors discovered that the baby was suffering from brain injury, retinal hemorrhages and upper level spine injures. They opined that the child had suffered a vigorous and repetitive episode of being shaken. The baby remains hospitalized but has made remarkable signs of recovery. It is too soon to determine, what, if any, long-term effects may exist.
Drayton admitted that he could not get the baby to stop crying. Drayton said that he was tired and that he started shaking the child while telling him to stop crying. The child stopped crying and became “pale.” He then shook the child again in an effort to revive him.
In announcing the plea, U.S Attorney Machen commended the detectives and officers who worked on the case from the Metropolitan Police Department. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Victim/Witness Advocates Marcia Rinker and Tamara Ince, and Paralegal Specialist Kelly Blakeney. Finally, he expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia G. Wright, who prosecuted the case.