EATON — Twenty-one-month-old Sylas Warwick’s body was bruised, had multiple fractures, and was malnourished.
He died of blunt-force trauma to his head.
The West Alexandria mother who entered guilty pleas in his death this week will be sentenced next month.
On Monday, Oct. 24, Christy Warwick, 37, entered pleas of guilty to “involuntary manslaughter” and “endangering children” in the death of her toddler son, Sylas, who died on Dec. 13, 2015, according to officials.
According to Preble County Prosecutor Martin Votel, on Dec. 13, 2015, at 1:31 a.m., Warwick called 9-1-1 to report that Sylas had “lost consciousness and was not breathing.”
EMS transported the child to the Preble County Emergency Room – he was then sent by CareFlight to Dayton Children’s Medical Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead, according to officials.
“The coroner determined that Sylas had died from subdural hemorrhaging (brain bleeding) caused by blunt force trauma to the head,” Votel said in a press release on Wednesday, Oct. 26. “The autopsy also documented numerous bruises and scars on the child’s body, as well as several acute and healing fractures at various locations on his body: his clavicle, ribs, lumbar vertebrae, and upper and lower jaws. The child’s mouth was badly injured, several teeth were loose, and his front incisor was missing and later found lodged in the back of his throat. The child was malnourished, his body weight – at 21 pounds – placing him in the bottom three percent of male children in his age range.”
In May 2016, a Preble County grand jury indicted Warwick on one county “endangering children,” a felony of the third degree, and one count “involuntary manslaughter,” a felony of first degree.
According to Votel, the maximum prison term for a felony of the third degree is three years in state custody; the maximum term for a felony of the first degree is 11 years in prison.
The case was scheduled to proceed to jury trial on Wednesday, Oct. 24. However, the morning of trial the defendant presented herself before the Preble County Court of Common Pleas to enter pleas of “guilty” to both charges. There were no plea agreements in the case.
“Both the State of Ohio and the defendant will be free to make sentencing recommendations to the court,” Votel noted.
The sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 29, 1 p.m.
“This is one of the most heart-breaking cases of child abuse I have seen in my nearly 20 years in the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office,” Votel said. “From the beginning of this case, it was clear that Sylas had been neglected and serially abused, and that the evidence against this defendant was substantial. Nothing can give back to Sylas the life he would have had were he properly cared for and loved. The best way for the State to honor Sylas’ memory is to advocate, within the limits permitted by law, for a just and lengthy prison term for the person most responsible for his suffering and his death – Christy Warwick.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.