Submissions made at sentencing hearing in negligence case in Alberta baby’s death

Jasmine Wright stood at the witness stand with a photo of her nine-month-old son Austin Wright sitting on the stand in front of her. She was emotional as she recounted the moment she came home to find her son in medical distress.

The courtroom was full of both Austin’s family and Tyler Hogan’s family on Monday.

Hogan was originally charged in 2016 with second-degree murder in connection with his then-girlfriend’s baby boy.

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Last week, at what was supposed to be day one of his trial, he pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death.

The 42-year-old admitted to tossing the nine-month-old into a pile of pillows and other items on the floor in an attempt to cheer him up. Court heard the baby went limp and immediately went into medical distress. Hogan called Austin’s mother instead of 911. Court heard she rushed home and called for help, but it was too late. Austin died April 28, 2016.

An autopsy determined the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head and spine.

During her emotional victim impact statement, Austin’s mother said: “I felt like I was falling and there was no one there to catch me.”

She said she was depressed and one month after Austin’s death, attempted to take her own life, ending up in the hospital.  She added she couldn’t work because of her depression and often thinks of what Austin would be like now as a big brother to her daughter.

Austin’s mother said she continued living with Hogan for two months after Austin’s death, moving out after police informed her of the autopsy results.

“He lied to me,” she said.

Hogan himself addressed the court and the Wright family. He said he deeply loved Austin.

“I am incredibly sorry for this tragic loss,” he said.

The Crown is asking for a sentence ranging from three-and-a-half years to four years.

The defence is seeking a sentence in the three- to six-month range with two years probation.

The judge is expected to to give his sentence on Tuesday morning.

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