(SALEM) - 24-year-old Jamie Lykins of Salem was sentenced by Judge Larry Medlock to serve 50 years for battery and 40 years for neglect in the death 8-month old Leelan Crain.
Prosecutor Dustin Houchin argued for the sentence to be the maximum allowed of 50 years, with the charges for battery and neglect served consecutively, but Medlock determined concurrent sentences to be more appropriate.
Judge Medlock said he agreed with Lykin's attorney Stephen Beardsley, that no one in their right mind would beat a baby this way.
He added that the effects of meth and heroin are demonic and it was unfortunate an innocent, defenseless child took the punishment for Lykin's choices.
"This was a deliberate act of rage against this tiny human..." Medlock stated. "Some of the people who came to testify for you today asked me to have mercy on you, but you showed no mercy to Leelan. I hope God has mercy on your soul."
Lykins entered a blind guilty plea to the crime in May.
During the sentencing, both sides called 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.
Pathologist and Kentucky Medical Examiner Jeffrey Springer testified and showed photos of the baby's injuries.
The Salem Leader reported that as Springer flipped through the photos on the projector screen in the courtroom, audible gasps were heard from those present at the hearing and tears flowed down faces.
The photos showed visible bruises on the ears, head and face, along with abrasions and scrapes along the jawline. There were more abrasions and bruising on the throat and chest, along with scratches on his scalp and more scratches on his right shoulder blade - all the result of being struck.
Along with the external injuries, there was also bleeding on the brain. Surgery was performed to try and save Leelan, but he died at the hospital.
Springer testified that Leelan suffered at least 12 impacts to the head area and at least seven to the torso.
Along with injuries to the head and upper torso, Springer showed injuries around Leelan's genitals, some of which he said could possibly be attributed to diaper rash, but some Springer appeared to be deliberate. They was a laceration of the anus from some sort of trauma.
Regina Lothery, Lykins' mother, also testified.
"He's a kid who went to jail strung out and going through a state of withdrawal," she said. "All in all, I see the kid I gave birth to. He's so remorseful as to what has happened. He's been up and down. All in all, he has a heart of gold. If he had been sober, this would never have been an issue."
Lykins plead guilty of beating Leelan to death at the couple's home on Ridgeview Drive in Salem. Friends of the couple talked them into seeking treatment for the baby after he was 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 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 told police 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 told police 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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