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By Michael Fagans / The Californian
BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A father who pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the death of his 10-week-old is asking to withdraw from the deal.
Kylor Lamotte Smith-Sims, 23, had been scheduled for sentencing Wednesday, but Judge Colette M. Humphrey instead postponed sentencing to June 5 to allow Smith-Sims’ attorney to file a motion to withdraw the plea. It also provides time for prosecutor Art Norris to prepare a response.
Smith-Sims is being held without bail. Charges of first-degree murder and assault on a child younger than 8 years old resulting in death were dismissed under the plea deal. If the plea is withdrawn those charges would be reinstated and he would face 25 years to life if convicted at trial.
Norris said the plea deal came with a stipulated sentence of 12 years and four months. If Smith-Sims does in fact have his plea withdrawn, he’d be turning down a guaranteed release date from prison while still in his mid-30s to potentially spending the rest of his life behind bars, if convicted.
Smith-Sims’ attorney, Mark Anthony Raimondo, could not be reached for comment.
Ridgecrest police responded to Smith-Sims’ home in the 500 block of West Atkins Street on March 6, 2012, and found infant Travion Smith unresponsive, according to court filings. He was taken to Ridgecrest Regional Hospital, where staff placed him on a ventilator and restored his pulse.
Travion was flown to Loma Linda Medical Center. Tests performed on March 9 and March 10 revealed he was brain dead, and he was officially pronounced dead March 11.
The infant’s injuries were numerous and severe. Court filings say he suffered bleeding on the brain, three skull fractures and 12 broken ribs. A forensic pediatrician said the injuries were equivalent to being dropped from a three-story building.
Smith-Sims told police he was asleep in the living room with Travion when the baby woke up screaming at 4:45 a.m., the filings say. He said he picked up Travion and then accidentally dropped him.
The reports say Smith-Sims was unable to explain the boy’s injuries, and maintained his death was an accident.