Jason Range was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Tuesday for the accidental death of his wife's five-week-old baby.
Jeremiah Elijah Williams fell to his death during an argument between Range and the baby's mother, the Chicago Tribune reports. Range, who was estranged from the woman, got into a fight with her on July 27, 2009, in which he allegedly choked her and slashed her with a knife.
On her way out of his third-story residence, carrying baby Jeremiah in a car seat, Range kicked the woman in the back, causing the car seat to fly over the third-story railing, according to FOX Chicago. Jeremiah fractured his skull in the fall.
A possible cause of the fight was that Range was apparently not the baby's father. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that another man, D'Angelo Smith, claims to have fathered the child, and the mother agrees. The paper also carries some of Smith's words about the crime:
“He was only 5 weeks old. His life had just begun,” Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Nina Ricci said, reading from Smith’s victim-impact statement.
“Life has been so different and difficult. It has been very hard to continue as if nothing happened. I can’t get the image out of my head, seeing my child in a coffin as well as burying him. No parent should have to do this.”
Range, age 22, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated domestic battery and battery.