Man gets nine years in prison
Plead guilty in death of daughter
WARREN — A man who pleaded guilty Friday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of his five-week-old daughter said he failed as a father and a man before he was sentenced to nine years in prison.
Matthew Wilson, 33, entered his plea in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, where Judge W. Wyatt McKay handed down the sentence. Wilson originally was charged with first-degree murder after Aubrianna I. Wilson died Feb. 15, 2017, at Akron Children’s Hospital, according to police and court records.
Niles Fire Department and Lane Ambulance responded Feb. 10, 2017, to 1017 Bellair Court on reports a baby with a heart condition was in distress. But the baby had brain bleeds, a tear in her liver and broken ribs in different stages of healing, which led to an investigation, said Diane Barber, Trumbull County assistant prosecutor.
Wilson initially told the girl’s mother, who arrived home where Wilson had been watching the girl and her 1-year-old brother to find something was wrong with Aubrianna, that he tripped over a toy while holding their daughter, dropped the girl and fell on top of her, Barber said.
If the case had gone to trial, the state would have introduced evidence and numerous experts to testify that the girl was struck in the head with or against an object, Barber said.
Aubrianna’s mother, Brittany Watkins, declined to make a statement in court.
Wilson apologized to Watkins and acknowledged he was supposed to “protect” the two children he and Watkins had.
“I’m sorry that I didn’t come up and fess up when I should have,” Wilson said.
He said he was “scared and didn’t know what to do” and that he plays the events back in his head “every day” and wishes he could change what happened.
Wilson said he failed Watkins as a man and failed Aubrianna as a father.
Once released from prison, Wilson will be placed on five years of probation.
As he left the courtroom in a prison uniform and wearing handcuffs, he and members of his family shouted “I love you” to one another.
Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office deputies kept Wilson’s family members separate from Watkins and her family and had them leave the court at different times.
Wilson has been in the Trumbull County Jail since Feb. 18, 2017, according to court records.