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Father gets 6 years in baby's death

A Stafford County man who pleaded guilty to shaking his 6-week-old son to death has been sentenced to six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.

Baby Marcus Andre lived in Stafford with his father, Jason W. Andre, who called 911 on June 29, 2009, to report his son was having trouble breathing. Marcus was flown to the pediatric intensive care unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where prosecutors said he had suffered severe brain injury and was "brain dead upon arrival."

Marcus had brain hemorrhages and retinal hemorrhages, key indicators of shaken baby syndrome, Stafford Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Eric L. Olsen said. He also had rib fractures from a week or two earlier, bruises on his right shoulder and buttocks, a flattening on his head and a spinal cord injury, Olsen said.

When police searched Andre's home, they found a gun and the beginnings of a marijuana growing operation. He was indicted in August on charges of murder, malicious wounding and child neglect. In March, Andre pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter as well as child abuse and possession of a firearm by a felon.

At Andre's sentencing Monday in Stafford Circuit Court, Judge Charles Sharp sentenced Andre to 20 total years in prison, but suspended 14 of those years, court records show. He imposed the maximum 10-year sentence for manslaughter, but suspended six of those years. He imposed a five-year sentence for possession of a gun, and suspended three of those years. He imposed a five-year sentence for child abuse and suspended all of that time.

-- Tom Jackman

By Tom Jackman  |  June 29, 2010; 5:20 PM ET
Categories:  Stafford , Tom Jackman , Updates  
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All those other years suspended, so he only gets six years for the DEATH of his baby? I don't get it.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | June 29, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

What is wrong with this judge? This man beat his baby to death. According to this article, he suspended 14 years of a 20 year sentence. There's something wrong with this picture. Our judicial system is flawed.

"Vengence is mine saith the Lord."

Posted by: smiley5 | June 29, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I would personally beat this monster to a bloody pulp.

Posted by: zcxnissan | June 29, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the Judge is from PG County or something.

The judge is as much of a worthless scumbag as the baby shaker.

Posted by: kenk3 | June 29, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Where was the mom? This baby had been suffering abuse at least one week before he died. Was she really out of the picture six weeks after having given birth?

Posted by: a_m_b_hall | June 29, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, this article is one-sided. It is obvious the Judge gave the defendant a lesser sentence because there had to be some facts that the public is unaware of. Considering the fact that the Washington Post reporter was not present at the defendant's sentencing, he sadly has nothing to offer this article but some biased and inaccurate statements given to him by the prosecutor on the case, Mr. Eric Olson. There is no mention in the article that the baby had pneumonia. No mention that his father, the accused, gave him CPR for 15 minutes before an ambulance arrived. There is also no mention in this article that Mr. Olson did not have a single witness to testify against Mr. Andre. Not a doctor. No one. Judge Sharp took the facts that were presented before him and he did his job. He made a tough decision and one that was fair. He has to be able to sleep at night too...
Don't believe everything you read people!

Posted by: boyd51409 | June 30, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

@boyd51409 I don't think there can be any extenuating circumstances that warrant sentencing a man to only 6 years prison for shaking his child to death. Whether the kid had pneumonia or not is irrelevant as to the father's guilt, and furthermore it suggests he was neglecting his child if the kid had pneumonia and wasn't being treated in a hospital. There is no defense for this man, even if he did perform CPR for 15 minutes. A murderer isn't less of a murderer because he realized he was in deep excrement and tried to revive his victim.

Posted by: mercredi | June 30, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Boyd51409 pneumonia and CPR are not responsible for the extensive physical injuries that this child had.

Posted by: zcxnissan | June 30, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

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