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News : Joplin Man Sentenced To 15 Years In Death Of 18 Month Old Child
Posted by Randy on 2014/5/5 3:39:03 (149 reads) News by the same author

NEOSHO, Mo. (joplinglobe.com) — Bryant L. Sykes Jr. showed remorse again Friday when a judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison for causing the death of his girlfriend’s 18-month-old daughter, Ada Bowman.
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Sykes, 26, had been tearful and contrite when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Feb. 7 in Newton County Circuit Court. To Assistant Prosecutor Bill Dobbs, the defendant appeared to experience similar emotions at his sentencing.

“I think he truly regrets his actions that caused the death of this child,” Dobbs commented after the hearing.

Sykes mortally injured the girl on July 31, 2012, by throwing her across a room when he discovered that she and her two older siblings and made a mess with some dog food in their home in their home on the outskirts of Joplin. He later told investigators that her body bounced off a bed and crashed into a coffee table.

The girl reportedly suffered bleeding on both sides of her brain as well as injuries to her liver, spleen and ribs. She died four days later at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Investigators believe the toddler’s injuries went unreported for several hours. Sykes told investigators that he slung the girl across the bed at about 2 p.m. the day in question. Emergency medical help was not called to the home until about 9 p.m., and by then, the child was found to be in cardiac arrest and had to be revived before being transported to Freeman Hospital West.

Sykes admitted to investigators that the girl began “acting different” and her stomach began to swell “like a sprained finger” after he’d thrown her across the room.

The girl’s mother, Gina Salazar, is believed to have been at another residence nearby when the girl was initially injured. But Sykes told investigators she knew her daughter was “acting different” before she went to a store that night.

While the mother was at the store, Sykes said he placed the girl on a kitchen table in front of an air conditioner to help her cool off. He was fixing dinner and the girl fell from the table while his back was turned. Her chest struck a chair on the way down and her head hit the floor, he told investigators.

She turned unresponsive at that point and he attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation before yelling for neighbors to call 911, according to the defendant’s account at the time.

Salazar was charged with hindering prosecution and child endangerment because she initially told investigators that she left her children in the care of a man named “Jay.” Sykes had fled to some woods when emergency medical help and sheriff’s deputies first arrived.

The defendant went back to the residence the next morning but fled into the woods again when a neighbor called the sheriff’s office to report that Salazar’s actual boyfriend had returned and deputies came looking for him. He later emerged from the woods and was arrested.

The mother pleaded guilty recently to misdemeanor child endangerment and received a suspended imposition of sentence. Her two other children were removed from her care following the death of her daughter. Dobbs said it remains unlikely she will ever get them back.

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