Arsenio Chambliss, 29, pleaded guilty to a reduced count of manslaughter in the Jan. 17, 2017 death of his 4-week-old daughter Azyri from blunt-force injuries to her head.
Chambliss was set to go to trial in December on a second-degree murder count. He would have received an automatic life sentence if convicted.
Investigators said the baby girl’s mother last saw her alive between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. during a diaper change. She left the family’s house to take another child to school and look for a job, according to reports.
Chambliss was left to care for the child. Police said he called the girl’s mother about 11 a.m. to say the baby was cold and unresponsive.
The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office determined that the girl suffered injuries to her head, and rib fractures earlier in her short life. Chambliss had been convicted for hitting and choking a previous girlfriend in Jefferson Parish, the website reports.
“A defenseless baby never should be subjected to such abuse. This admission of guilt and the significant sentence imposed by the judge will, I hope, bring some measure of justice for this baby girl’s mother, siblings and grieving family,” District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said in a statement.
Chambliss’ Defense attorney Keith Couture said,“it was a tragic situation, obviously. The loss of a child. We’re just glad that the matter has been resolved.”
Chambliss also pleaded guilty to second-degree cruelty to juveniles.