New Castle News

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August 13, 2013

City man sentenced in death of son

NEW CASTLE — A New Castle man charged in the death of his 6-week-old son has been sentenced to prison.

Terrance R. Murphy, 22, of 124 Park Ave., will serve 2 1/2 to 5 years in a state correctional institution with credit for 243 days served.

Lawrence County Judge J. Craig Cox also sentenced Murphy to pay costs of prosecution.

Murphy had pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

He also had faced charges of criminal homicide, aggravated and simple assault. He will not be prosecuted on these charges.

According to court documents, Murphy was charged by New Castle police after the baby, Terrance Murphy Jr., died Nov. 30 of blunt force trauma to the head that had resulted in a fractured skull. Charges stemmed from an incident Nov. 5.

According to court documents, Murphy told police he had been at a Castle Arms apartment alone with the baby and had him propped up on the bed with a bottle of formula.

He said he had left the room to smoke a cigarette and was gone for only a moment when he heard the baby choking. He told officers he ran back and saw the baby covered with vomit.

Murphy said he wiped off the baby and suctioned out his mouth and nose with a bulb syringe, but couldn’t tell if he was breathing, so he texted the baby’s mother, Tyrenna Stockton, and told her something was wrong with the baby and to come right away.

He said he also had administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Police reports state that when Stockton arrived, they called a relative who is a nurse. She told them to call 911. City fire department and ambulance personnel met them in the lobby.

Murphy, who police found hiding in a bedroom closet, later told officers he had been in the shower and heard the baby crying. He said he had grabbed the child from the living room and hurried into the bedroom with him. He said he was cradling the baby’s head in his left arm and struck the door frame with the baby.

After that, he told police, he put the child on the bed, propped up a bottle for him and went to smoke.

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