Man Convicted In Baby's Death Gets 30 Years
Man Called 4-Month-Old Boy His Son
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The man convicted of killing a 4-month-old boy he called his son was given on Thursday the harshest possible sentence for his crime -- 30 years in prison.
Last month, Adrian Smith was on trial for second-degree murder in the boy's death. On June 27, a jury found him guilty on a lesser charge of manslaughter for the death of Adrian Smith Jr.
The child was not Smith's biological son, but he called the boy his own.
In February 2006, Smith rushed the child to Wolfson Children's Hospital because the baby wasn't breathing. After the boy's death, doctors found a baby wipe stuck in his throat.
Prosecutors said Smith shoved the wipe down the boy's throat in a fit of anger, and the jury agreed, though it only convicted him of manslaughter.
"I just hope that he really finds God while he's in prison," one of the child's family members said at Smith's sentencing hearing.
Family members of the young victim told the judge that Smith deserved the maximum sentence.
Among those testifying was the child's mother, Donneka Steadman, who was in jail the day her son died in while in Smith's care.
Once the child's family was done speaking, it didn't take long for Judge Hugh Carrithers to hand Smith the harshest possible sentence -- 30 years as a habitual offender with a minimum mandatory 15 years because of his previous time in prison.
Smith has eight previous felony convictions.
"He haven't showed no emotions in the court at all to me, period, none, zero, not even when he got his sentence," Steadman said after the hearing.
She told Channel 4 she still couldn't understand why Smith had not apologized to her or the court for her son's death.
"It does help to know that that justice have been served. No matter what anybody else thinks, I feel in my heart and God knows that justice has been served, but he's still got to answer to the man up above," Steadman said.
She also said she forgives Smith.
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