A man pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Wednesday in the death of a bruised Indiana County toddler who appeared to be malnourished.
Shawn Anderson-Holmes, 28, of Indiana, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in connection with the March 5 death of Colby Jozefczyk, Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty told KDKA-TV. Mr. Anderson-Holmes faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 28.
"After weighing all the evidence, we thought this was an appropriate plea," Mr. Dougherty said. "It's still a senseless tragedy that we have to deal with."
Medics were called to a home on Hemlock Way in Saltsburg on March 5, after the boy's mother, Kayla Lyons, called 911 to say that her son was not breathing. Mr. Anderson-Holmes had been living in the home for about five days.
When Saltsburg Chief Gary Walker arrived, a neighbor was performing CPR on Colby, who was "cold to touch and blue," according to an affidavit of probable cause. Medics took Colby to Excela Latrobe Hospital, where he was pronounced dead less than a half-hour later. His 3-year-old sister was also evaluated because she appeared to be bruised.
Troopers wrote in the affidavit that Colby had bruises and marks on his forehead, both arms and right cheek. Westmoreland County deputy coroner John Ackerman thought the bruises on the boy's arm were "a couple of days old" while the one on his forehead was "newer than that," according to the affidavit.
The coroner's office later listed "sudden unexplained infant death" as Colby's cause of death and left the manner "undetermined," a label used only a handful of times each year.
While they were investigating Colby's death, state police said they developed evidence that Ms. Lyons had abused the boy and his older sister. Ms. Lyons faces charges of aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of a child and simple assault.
When state police charged Ms. Lyons with those crimes, Trooper John Matchik said, "At this time, we do not believe that Kayla Lyons was involved directly in the actions that specifically and conclusively led to the death of Colby."