According to WLOX, a Gulfport man was given the maximum sentence after his infant son died.
27-year-old Kendall Pritchett Sr. was sentenced to 40 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
WLOX reports that the Gulfport Police Department responded to Garden Park Hospital on May 3, 2020, in regard to a six-week-old boy who had died.
According to the medical examiner, the cause of death was from burn injury complications. It was ruled a homicide.
During Gulfport police’s investigation, they discovered the baby was living at an apartment on Jody Nelson Drive with his mother and Pritchett, his father, according to WLOX.
WLOX wrote that the baby had scald burns 10 days before his death and neither Pritchett or his mom ever called for medical help.
May 3 was the first time any medical assistance was called when Pritchett’s mom called 911 after the baby became unresponsive.
“The evidence the State of Mississippi intended to present at trial included the fact that during the ten days this baby was in excruciating pain, Kendall Pritchett, Sr. and the mother watched the baby’s skin turn from different shades of red to green slime and become infected,” said Assistant District Attorney Haley Broom, who prosecuted the case. “The only steps taken was a trip to the local Family Dollar to purchase ointment and gauze pads, and Googled search terms on how to treat burns. Furthermore, not only did Pritchett cause these injuries and fail to treat the injuries, but he also concealed them so others would not discover the baby’s injuries.”
WLOX said that according to medical experts, the baby’s injuries were consistent with injuries caused by exposure to water hotter than 120 degrees for at least five minutes. Additionally, experts were prepared to testify that the failure to obtain medical care for the scald burn injuries caused the infant’s death.
At the hearings, Pritchett said he and the mother were under the influence of drugs at the time and the baby was burned during a bath. Pritchett also claimed that he relied on the mother’s direction and experience of motherhood instead of seeking medical care.
“Can you imagine the horror this child experienced?” Judge Larry Bourgeois said before sentencing. “You fathered a child. Anyone can father a child. It takes a real man to be a daddy. You failed. You, sir, are no daddy. A real man would injure anything he had to do to save his child. You have not done it.”
The infant’s mother previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and sentencing is pending.
“We thank the Gulfport Police Department in their extensive investigation into the death of this innocent and helpless infant,” said District Attorney W. Crosby Parker. “This case is truly tragic. These defendants selfishly chose to worry about themselves and their well-being, rather than their infant’s. The maximum sentence handed down by Judge Bourgeois was warranted given the facts and evidence in this case.”