WALL TOWNSHIP, NJ (PIX11) — A man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for smothering his 6-week-old baby girl to death to get her to stop crying, officials said Monday.
She died of asphyxiation.
“The defendant’s depraved actions caused this horrific tragedy and left other family members to mourn an immeasurable loss,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago said. “While it is impossible to make this family whole, this plea deal and the subsequent sentence provides justice and closure for the victim’s family for such an unspeakable and heinous act.
Austin Meli, 26, was sentenced on Friday. He pled guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter on Feb. 10.
Meli is already serving a 10-year prison sentence for second-degree aggravated assault, two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child and fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence for crimes committed against one of his other children. His 30-year sentence in the baby girl’s death will run consecutive to the 10-year sentence.