An Ohio man, who failed to report the death of his daughter for a month before a cable company representative found her rotting corpse in her crib at their home, received sentencing on Friday. Eric Warfel was sentenced to 3 years behind bars after being convicted on all charges, including corpse abuse, as the Toronto Sun shares.
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Warfel had a previous infant daughter die in 2013 in what was ruled as being a “sudden unexplained infant death,” to which prosecutors argued that he failed to report the said death. Warfel claimed to have not contacted police about the passing of his 21-month-old daughter, Ember, due to not wanting an autopsy to be done on her.
The family of Warfel wrote a letter requesting leniency by the judge in the case, seeing as he was perceived as a gentle and loving father who was devastated after losing one daughter already, causing him to make “poor choices because he just couldn’t cope when it happened again,” as Associated Press shares.
The man moved, following the second death, to a motel with his third daughter, now 8, where investigators found cocaine following Warfel’s arrest after the discovery of Ember’s body.
Due to the level of decomposition, medical examiners were unable to fully determine a cause of death, yet they did find remnants of cocaine in her hair samples. The attorney of the convicted stated that Ember had been born with “severe medical problems.”
Authorities had discovered trash in the infants room which they alleged Warfel was using to cover up the smell of the body, yet his attorney stated that this wasn’t the intention of her father.
The 35-year-old was convicted on charges including tampering with evidence and drug abuse. The 3-year sentence was less than what prosecutors were seeking in the case.
Medina man sentenced to 3 years in prison for leaving dead daughter in crib for a month (video): Eric Warfel… https://t.co/40Je02Xeax
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The defense attorney on the case spoke on behalf of Eric Warfel, noting that he believed the case was handled based on first impressions, and shares that he will be seeking an appeal on the charges. The AP notes Michael O’Shea’s words.
“We believe that the way the prosecutor decided to prosecute the case is like putting a square peg in a round hole. We just don’t believe that the facts fit the theory of law that the state of Ohio postulated.”
A psychologist evaluated Eric Warfel last summer and shared that the convicted explained that he had tried to revive his first daughter who passed, Erin, and remembered describing the death to his surviving daughter, his eldest, that God had taken her sister.
Warfel reportedly feared how he would go about explaining the passing of Ember to his surviving daughter and his family so he left her to attempt to come to grips with the situation, yet became more incapacitated the longer he waited.
The psychologist also noted that he had signs of depression and a cocaine addiction that led to actions causing him to be “unable to face again dealing with all that occurs when a youngster dies.”
Supporters of Warfel wrote letters on his behalf sharing that despite his devastation over Erin’s death he tried to be comforting to his family.
One friend of the accused wrote, “To find Ember must have felt like the world imploding, again.”
The Associated Press notes additional messages and pleas from Warfel’s supporters.
“Supporters said Warfel had made questionable choices — in marrying and then divorcing the girls’ mother, who they said had addiction and other troubles, and then in his own drug use and in not reporting Ember’s death — but they urged the judge to order treatment and therapy instead of prison. His lawyer noted he had no criminal history.”
The accused plead not guilty due to insanity, yet Warfel was found fit to stand trial.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]