EATON — The West Alexandria mother convicted in the 2015 death of her toddler son learned her fate nearly a year after his death.
On Wednesday, Nov. 30, Christy Warwick, 41, was sentenced by Preble County Common Pleas Court Judge David Abruzzo to nine years in prison in the death of her son, Sylas Warwick.
Warwick had earlier pleaded guilty to “involuntary manslaughter,” a felony of the first degree, and “endangering children,” a felony of the third degree in the death of her toddler son Sylas Warwick.
According to court records, on Dec. 13, 2015, Warwick called 9-1-1 reporting her 21-month-old Sylas was vomiting and unresponsive.
According to officials, Sylas was taken by ambulance to the Preble County Emergency Room and was later flown by CareFlight to Dayton Children’s Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office concluded the child had died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to Prosecuting Attorney Martin Votel.
“Among other injuries noted by Children’s Hospital Medical staff were multiple bruises and burns, multiple fractures in various stages of healing, malnutrition, and massive trauma to the child’s mouth, including missing teeth,” Votel noted.
“When questioned, Warwick confessed she was a stay-at-home mother and was the primary care-giver for the child,” Votel said in a press release. “She claimed no knowledge of the fractures and could give no explanation for them. Warwick likewise could give no explanation for the child’s other injuries, other than offering that the child had been hitting himself with his ‘sippy cup’ and banging his head on things.”
According to Votel, Warwick admitted she had never taken the child to the doctor despite observing that he appeared “skinny” and despite his alleged unusual behavior.
Dr. Lori Roediger of Dayton Children’s, a child advocacy physician who examined Sylas, concluded Sylas “had endured physical maltreatment and was malnourished at the time of his death.”
The State of Ohio was represented by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Valerie Sargent-Eckert and Prosecuting Attorney Martin P. Votel. Warwick was represented by local attorney Brian Muenchenbach.
“The evidence in this case established that Sylas was grossly malnourished at the time of his death, and that he had suffered serious physical injuries over a period time as a result of physical maltreatment in the home. A massive blow – or blows – to Sylas’ head caused his brain to bleed and swell, and this ultimately caused his death,” Votel said.
He continued: “At the time of the 9-1-1 call, two other adults and three juveniles lived in the home with Warwick and Sylas. All parties were questioned by the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, and all parties denied any knowledge of the child’s injuries. With no confession, and with multiple parties having access to the child during the period of time in question, the State of Ohio had insufficient evidence to procure a murder indictment in this case. The ‘involuntary manslaughter’ charge recognizes that this defendant, as the child’s mother, had a duty of care and a duty to protect and support Sylas. Whether she inflicted the injury herself, or whether she permitted others in the home to abuse the child and/or failed to seek proper medical treatment in a timely fashion, she is criminally responsible for Sylas’ death under law.”
“This is a heart-breaking case for this community, for those who knew and loved Sylas, and for those of us who worked on this case in the Prosecutor’s Office,” Votel said. “But there is a measure of solace to be taken in the fact that a good and moral community such as ours will always seek to protect and find justice for its most vulnerable members.”
“This whole thing is a tragedy and the family’s suffered a loss, the community’s suffered a loss, my client’s suffered a loss,” Muenchenbach said of his client following the sentencing. “She never intended to hurt her child. She admits that the level of care was not appropriate. However, it was reckless by the definition — but she loved her child deeply and she’s suffering as a result. “
“At this point, my client has indicated that she does intend to appeal the sentence,” Muenchenbach said.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.