(SALEM) - 24-year-old Jamie Lykins of Salem entered a blind guilty plea Thursday afternoon on felony charges of battery and neglect of a dependent resulting in the death of 8-month-old Leelan Crain.
Lykins is being represented by public defender Stephen Beardsley. Washington Circuit Court Judge Larry Medlock accepted the guilty plea and ordered a pre-sentencing investigation report and set sentencing for July 22 at 8:30 a.m.
Washington County Prosecutor Dustin Houchin, says they got the same result as if a jury were to convict Lykins. He could face up to 50 years in prison.
During the sentencing, both sides will call witnesses in order to present as much information to the judge as possible.
The baby's mother Casey Crain, of Salem, is also facing a felony charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
Salem police say Lykins beat the child to death at the couple's home on Ridgeview Drive in Salem. Friends of the couple talked them into seeking treatment for Leelan after he was found found bruised, not breathing well and semi-conscious.
He was taken to St. Vincent Salem Hospital on Saturday, Sept. 8th, 2013 . He was then transported by helicopter to Kosiar Children's Hospital where he died. According to an autopsy report, Leelan died from blunt force trauma to the head and had various levels of bruising and other signs of abuse.
Lykins had been living with Crain since Leelan was a month old and told police he thought of the baby as his own son.
Crain will appear in court on June 25 for a pretrial conference. A jury for this month has been re-scheduled for Aug. 5.
Crain told police Lykins was angry that Leelan was crying. She told police she attempted to intervene as Lykins took Leelan into the bedroom to put him down for a nap, but he told her he would take care of it. She said Lykins turned the radio up very high in the room, but she could still hear her son crying continuously for 45 minutes before the room went silent. Later, she went in to check on him and found Leelan severely bruised, not breathing properly and only semiconscious.
Police interviewed two friends of the couple who had arrived at the house later to go fishing. Micheel Livingston said she noticed immediately Leelan needed medical attention, but Lykins didn't want to take the child to the hospital because police and child services would be called. Livingston and Gregory Lee finally talked Lykins into taking the infant to the hospital.
Dawn Walker, who was supposed to be babysitting Leelan that night, told police that when she arrived at the house around 7 p.m., Lykins looked at her and told her, "We have a problem. I beat the f--- out of baby LeeLee."
Lykins told police a different story: he claimed that after his girlfriend put the baby down to sleep, he and Crain were watching television when they heard a loud thud. He told police they went into the bedroom and found Leelan on the floor with the injuries.
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