By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – A Napavine area father who gave his 4-month-old daughter a bruised brain was sentenced today to 16 months in prison.
Attorneys on both sides recommended 14 months, but Lewis County Superior Court Judge Nelson Hunt chose the top of the standard range.
Tyler C. Abair was convicted earlier this month of third-degree assault following a plea agreement.
Abair was arrested last spring, a month after an incident in which he said the infant choked on formula and stopped breathing. The 23-year-old father acknowledged that he shook her, but also said that he was terrified and didn’t know CPR, according to court documents.
The baby’s mother, in a letter read aloud to the judge today by the baby’s grandmother, asked that Abair be given the maximum amount of time.
“I fear for my children,” she said. “She nearly died and suffered a great amount of pain.”
Before his arrest, Abair stayed home and cared for their twins while the mother worked.
The grandmother told the judge the family is struggling to understand why Abair didn’t call 911 and didn’t take infant CPR classes as the mother had.
Court documents referenced a doctor who indicated the child exhibited classic but not severe signs of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Prosecutors have said the child has recovered.
Prosecutors initially charged Abair with first-degree assault but as the case progressed, decided the evidence didn’t show first-degree assault.
He was also given eight months for an unrelated second-degree theft, with his time to be served concurrently, according to Lewis County Deputy Prosecutor Senior Deputy Prosecutor Will Halstead.
Abair has already been locked up for eight months in the Lewis County Jail.
For background, read “Father admits he shook his infant child, didn’t know CPR ” from Thursday January 15, 2015, here