Mother ‘outraged’ at plea deal for man who murdered her infant son

Mother ‘outraged’ at plea deal for man who murdered her infant son

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to the murder of an 8-month-old infant, resulting in an 11-year prison sentence.

The infant’s mother, Johnette Anderson, doesn’t think that comes close to being enough.

“I’m outraged,” Anderson told FOX19 NOW over Facebook Messenger from her current home in Texas. “I’m baffled, to say the least.”

The incident occurred July 18, 2018 in Colerain Township, according to court documents, when the 34-year-old Domynyk Gilliam threw Se’mir Brown, the infant, against a wall and into a crib, causing a significant head injury that lead to his death.

Gilliam initially confessed to police, but later entered a not guilty plea in court.

The case against him spanned more than a year, with numerous continuances and a turnstile of defense attorneys.

Domynyk Gilliam
Domynyk Gilliam (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

It came to a head Tuesday, when Gilliam changed his plea to guilty.

At the hearing, the judge sentenced him to a maximum prison term of 11 years for involuntary manslaughter and 36 months for four counts of child endangerment.

Anderson was aghast when she found out.

“Eleven years for an innocent life,” she said. “He was a baby. He couldn’t defend himself. The only way he could ask for what he needed was a cry. A cry for help.”

Anderson wanted the prosecution to pursue life without parole. As for the Tuesday hearing, she thought it was about evidence suppression.

The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office say they told Anderson they were pursuing the plea deal.

“(The mother) was aware of the 11-year plea deal on the table,” a spokesperson said. “She has been in communication with the office from the beginning.”

Former Hamilton County prosecutor and FOX19 NOW Chief Legal Analyst Mike Allen says there are times a victim’s family and the prosecutor’s office may disagree, but ultimately the decision falls with the prosecutor.

“It’s a tough call for a prosecutor to make,” he explained. “In a horrible case like this, the prosecutor wants a conviction. I don’t know if they had some evidentiary issues. But I trust those prosecutors to do the right thing.”

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