Last Modified: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 6:43 PM
An Abbeville man pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted second-degree murder of a toddler.
Judge Wilford Carter sentenced Efrem O’gwin, 26, to 35 years in prison in the June 2011 death of his girlfriend’s 18-month-old son, Allen Jasmine.
O’gwin was originally charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the amended charge as part of an Alford plea, allowing him to plead guilty without admitting guilt.
Since it was O’gwin’s third felony conviction, he faced the possibility of life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. He was previously convicted of simple robbery and distribution of a Schedule IV drug, court testimony revealed.
Prosecutor Lori Nunn said that O’gwin became angry at the child while changing its diaper on June 27, 2011 and stomped and kicked him, causing the child to eventually die from internal bleeding.
Asked to present the facts of the case, Nunn said the boy’s mother, Lisa Jasmine, left the child with O’gwin while she went to purchase cigarettes for her mother, Nunn said.
The child woke up fussy; O’gwin attacked him, Nunn said.
She said the impression of a foot was left on the boy’s back.
When the mother returned home, the boy was crying, but she couldn’t see the bruises because his shirt was on, Nunn said.
When the child was taken to a doctor two hours later, O’gwin first said he dropped the baby on a pile of toys, then said he spanked him with a flip-flop, Nunn said.
The child had a torn liver, according to a report from Coroner Terry Welke. The boy also had a “weeks old” injury of two broken ribs and had scars from burns to the face, the report said.
Nunn said the family was “pretty torn up” and that the plea deal saved them from having to “relive” the ordeal.
“It’s a good resolution of this particular case,” Nunn said. “The victim’s family doesn’t have to relive this, we get a certain sentence and avoid the unpredictable nature of trials.
“Of course, the victim’s mother was in favor of this resolution.”
Department of Children and Family Services investigated a May 24, 2011 incident in which the child “suffered burns on his face as a result of his sibling allegedly turning on hot water in the bathtub,” according to court documents.
Welke said the child was “most likely submerged in hot water and that he most likely had a blindfold or some sort of wrapping around his eyes as his eye area remained unburned unlike the other areas of his face,” the court record stated.
The document said Welke indicated “the burns were signs of abuse.”
Posted By: david royster On: 7/29/2013