WEST JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – No one was ever punished for the murder of baby Archer.
In 2017, the infant died after he was rushed to the hospital. The autopsy showed he suffered broken bones, abrasions, and injuries to his brain and spinal cord. According to the charging document, he lost 14-percent of his body mass in the two weeks that he was alive.
Thursday, Dylan Kitzmiller who was the mother’s boyfriend was sentenced to two terms of one year to 15 years at the state prison. A jury acquitted him of murder but found him guilty of child abuse.
“Originally, my son was murdered,” said the baby’s biological father Jaymie Waters. “There were two people charged with his murder.”
But the baby’s mother, Maria Sullivan pleaded guilty to child abuse and the state dropped the murder charges.
She testified against Kitzmiller, her boyfriend.
“Since this has happened they’ve both been acquitted of those charges,” said Waters.
Last month, Sullivan who had a history of drug abuse was sent to prison for child abuse.
Kitzmiller is headed there as well. This despite a plea for probation from his attorney who blamed it on drugs.
“There is great evidence to support that this is a true tragic incident that could have been prevented,” said Rudy Bautista, Kitzmiller’s attorney. “Unfortunately, Dylan was dealing with his own demons of substance abuse problems and didn’t see the signs and didn’t act appropriately.”
Surprisingly, Waters saw Kitzmiller as a victim to his wife’s web of lies and deceit.
“Dylan saw what was going on and she threatened him by saying ‘if you say anything, I’m going to bury you,'” Waters said in court.
But Kitzmiller never spoke, nor apologized prior to being sentenced.
And the judge found Kitzmiller’s lack of remorse a pivotal reason for sending him to prison.
“I am a little troubled by your statements in the pre-trial report,” Judge William Kendall said. “It seems like you minimized or not at all accepted responsibility of what you did.”
Even though he was acquitted of the murder charge, Judge Kendall reminded Kitzmiller that he was found guilty of injuring the child.
“You were found guilty of causing multiple injuries to the child, to his hands, ears, chest, upper arms,” the judge said. “You also were found guilty of causing a spinal fracture. Those were very serious injuries.”
Waters accepted the judge’s decision. But deep down Waters believes his former wife killed his child and she should have gone to trial for that.
“Who is responsible?” Waters asked afterward. “Who is going to go to prison for the death of my child?”
He was asked if justice was served.
“No,” he responded.
Kitzmiller has already served 22 months in the Salt Lake County Jail. He was given credit for that. His two terms of one to 15 years are to run consecutively. It means he has to serve a minimum of two years. Based on time served, he could be released in a few months. But that will be up to the Utah Board of Pardons.
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- The Justice Files: New evidence discovered in toddler’s death
- The Justice Files: Murder suspect avoided arrest by fleeing to Mexico