HOUGHTON — The case against a Hancock man for allegedly causing the death of his infant son is now over. ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Rick Allen has the details from today’s sentencing.
A tragic…yet preventable accident…is what the death of a two month old child is being called. Twenty-seven-year-old Benjamin Reilly stood before the judge in Houghton County Circuit Court Wednesday waiting to be sentenced to one count of second degree child abuse.
Reilly pleaded “No Contest” to the charge in January in accordance to a plea agreement that saw multiple other charges, including Involuntary Manslaughter dismissed.
The prosecution said the defendant was under the influence of controlled substances in July when he fell asleep with his son, whom he had given an alcoholic beverage. The autopsy report listed cause of death to be suffocation with alcohol intoxication as a contributing factor.
Prosecutor Michael Makinen said though he doesn’t believe Reilly intended to harm the child, he likened the incident to a drunk driver who accidentally kills an innocent person.
Makinen called for the maximum allowable sentence in the guidelines. The child’s mother asked the court to show mercy toward Reilly – calling him a great dad who needs help.
Reilly’s attorney also requested that the judge show leniency citing his client’s substance abuse problems.
Judge Charles Goodman agreed with the prosecution and sentenced Reilly to five years and eleven months to ten years in prison with 113 days already served.