A former Miramar Marine whose baby daughter died nearly two weeks after being injured in their Escondido home was convicted Friday of assault on a child causing great bodily injury or death and voluntary manslaughter, but a jury acquitted the defendant of second-degree murder.
Lee Trahan, 27, faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced April 10.
Trahan’s 32-year-old wife, Jessica, was convicted of misdemeanor child abuse.
Lee Trahan testified that was holding his nearly-6-week-old daughter Willow and preparing to feed her about 3 a.m. on April 24, 2012, when he felt her start to roll from his grasp. He said he took a step forward and he and the baby collided with a door frame.
Trahan said he and his wife decided not to take their daughter — who had a twin brother — to the hospital.
Three days later, the baby stopped breathing and was rushed to the hospital. Ten days after that, she died. A deputy medical examiner testified that the child died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Lee Trahan’s attorney, Brian J. White, said his client was a loving father to his twins and his wife’s daughter from a previous relationship. The defense attorney said the death of Willow’s brain cells could have been the result of medical personnel failing to insert a breathing tube into her throat, depriving her of oxygen for several minutes.
Deputy District Attorney Michelle Ialeggio said the frustration of caring for twins who were born premature took its toll on the couple. As a result, the prosecutor said, they made “huge parenting mistakes.”
— City News Service
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