INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday refused to adjust the 35-year prison sentence for a Gary man who punched an infant while walking along Fifth Avenue in Gary, causing her death.
Christopher K. Washington, 21, pleaded guilty in September 2009 to felony battery in connection with the death of 5-month-old Eternity Brame.
According to court and police records, Washington was walking with his girlfriend's children, ages 5 and 6, and Brame, the daughter of Washington's girlfriend's sister, along Fifth Avenue toward Fillmore Street on Oct. 4, 2007, when Washington punched Brame several times.
Upon reaching Brame's aunt's home, Washington put Brame in a bed and didn't tell anyone what happened, according to court records. An autopsy showed the child died of a lacerated heart and liver, and a depressed skull fracture from several blows to her head, chest and back.
At the time of the incident, Washington was 18 years old and just three months out of the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center.
Washington asked the appeals court for a reduced sentence claiming the 35-year term was inappropriate in light of his character and nature of the crime.
In a 3-0 decision, the Court of Appeals emphatically rejected Washington's request, pointing out that he received less time than the 50-year maximum sentence and agreeing with the trial court that Washington's actions were "brutal."
"Washington struck a defenseless infant with his fist several times, causing her death, in the presence of other young children," Senior Judge John Sharpnack wrote.
The court said Washington's juvenile record, including crimes equal to robbery and intimidation for an adult, history of substance abuse and repeated probation violations, also weighed against a sentence reduction.
BABY ETERNITY UNIQUE BRAME Gary, Indiana Age 4 months, passed away on Wednesday, October 4, 2007. Eternity was born May 7, 2007, in Gary, Indiana. She was a well loved daughter of Kortisha R. Spencer & Eugene J. Brame. She departed from many family members, mother, Kortisha Spencer; father, Eugene Brame; brother, Eugene Brame Jr.; sister, Tyaisha Brame; great-grandmother, Louise Johnson; grandparents, Linda (Larry) McJefferson, Janice Brame, Ronald Overton, James Bobo; 5 aunts, Rose Bobo, Tiffany Spencer, PaTrisha Brame, Jamie Kimbrough, Jermil Kimbrough; 5 uncles, Jermaine Kimbrough, Antione Brame, Dewon (Kim-berly) Brame, William Lewis, and Louis Spencer; godmother/ cousin, Mozell Quarles; and all her loving cousins, great-aunts, great-uncles, other relatives and friends who reside in Gary, IN, and many different cities. Visitation Sunday, October 14, 2007, from 12 noon to 8:00 p.m. with family hour from 6 - 8:00 p.m. at the Guy & Allen Chapel, 2959 W. 11th Ave. Funeral service Monday, October 15, 2007, at 2:00 p.m. at Old Path COGIC, 2117 McKinley Street. Pastor Lynnell Walters officiating. Interment Oak Hill Cemetery. Professional services rendered by: Guy & Allen Funeral Directors, Inc. Published in Post-Tribune on October 14, 2007