SPOKANE, Wash. - A Spokane man who pleaded guilty to killing his 3-week-old son will serve over 26 years in prison.
Erik Sherman pleaded guilty to homicide by abuse in September. A doctor who examined the newborn said it was the worst case of child abuse he had seen in his 23-year career.
According to court documents, the infant’s mother woke up in August 2018 and realized the baby was not in his crib. She found Sherman holding the boy in their bathroom, with blood coming from the infant’s mouth. He claimed the baby hit its head on his shoulder.
Two days later, Sherman was holding the infant when it stopped breathing, according to court documents. The couple rushed the boy to the Holy Family Hospital and he was later airlifted to Providence Sacred Heart.
The infant’s collar bone was broken and he had bruises all over his body. Neurological exams were completed and each confirmed serious brain injury with no brain activity.
The young child died a few days later after doctors removed a ventilator.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner concluded the child died by homicide and from a “subdural hemorrhage of the brain due to blunt impact of the head.”
Sherman’s 15-year-old daughter later told investigators she heard her father yelling at the child saying he “didn’t like his attitude” and that his crying was unacceptable.
In court on Friday, the child's mother shared a statement. She said Sherman's actions were those "only a monster would do." She said she didn't think the sentence was long enough to punish Sherman for what he did.
Sherman apologized to the court saying, "I'm sorry for this tragedy and everything I've caused."
Sherman's attorney said his client was using methamphetamine last year. When asking the judge to consider that, she said, "Like too many in our society, when in the throes of methamphetamine addiction, the kind, loving person changes and the drug makes them capable of heinous acts."
Judge John Stine handed down a total of 320 months in prison with credit for time served. Sherman also has a 36-month probation once he is released.
Terms of his release include never contacting his ex and not having contact with minors unless previously approved by his probation officer.
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