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19-year-old D.C. man sentenced for infant son’s death

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A 19-year-old D.C. man was sentenced Friday to three years in prison in connection with the death of his 7-week-old son, who died from head injuries after he was dropped and then left unattended, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District said.

Hiawatha Henry of Northeast pleaded guilty in July to involuntary manslaughter, after the boy's death in August 2009.

Prosecutors said Henry was alone at home with his twin sons on Aug. 28, 2009, and was playing a video game when he became frustrated because one of the twins, Hiawatha Jackson, began crying.

Henry picked up the child but held him carelessly and then dropped the child. The baby's head struck the metal frame of a futon, prosecutors said.

Henry ignored the baby's crying and did not seek medical attention for him. When the child later appeared to have trouble breathing, Henry called his aunt, who called 911.

The child was taken at about 3:45 p.m. to Children's National Medical Center, where Henry lied to medical personnel, telling them the baby had choked and vomited during his feeding, prosecutors said.

The child was released from the hospital but continued to cry and cough through the night. Henry called 911 the next day after the baby became unresponsive to touch, had difficulty breathing and discoloration.

At about 1 p.m. Aug. 29, the child was taken back to the hospital and placed on life support. Two days later, the life support was removed and the baby died.

In addition to the prison term, the judge sentenced Henry to five years of supervised release and ordered him to take vocational training and special education classes, attend anger management, life skills, and conflict resolution classes, and receive psychiatric treatment as necessary.

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