A Waterford man has been convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison in the death of his girlfriend’s 3-month-old daughter about eight years ago.
Authorities said Randy Lewis Mitchell, 32, was responsible for the death of the girl, Jayda Gray. Initially, he was charged with murder and assault on a child younger than 8 years old by a caregiver resulting in death.
To avoid a trial, Mitchell on July 16 pleaded guilty to causing or allowing a child to suffer unjustifiable physical pain, a felony.
The defendant also was convicted of an enhancement of inflicting great bodily injury on a child younger than 5 years old, said Assistant District Attorney Carol Shipley.
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The judge sentenced Mitchell to six years in prison on the felony and an additional six years in prison on the the enhancement, both maximum sentences.
Mitchell has served a majority of his combined sentence at the Stanislaus County Jail. He has been in custody since Dec. 22, 2006.
A judge ordered Mitchell to stand trial in September 2008. His case remained stalled over the past six years, and the court had not rescheduled his trial.
On Dec. 21, 2006, medics responded to a report of a baby who wasn’t breathing at a home on F Street in Waterford.
The infant was taken to an Oakdale hospital with signs of physical abuse. Stanislaus County sheriff’s officials said at the time that doctors spotted bruises and other marks on the baby, so they called sheriff’s investigators.
Stanislaus County sheriff’s officials arrested Mitchell after an interview the following day.
Doctors in Oakdale performed CPR and resuscitated her before transferring her to another hospital. The child died Dec. 30, 2006, at Children’s Hospital Central California, near Madera.
Mitchell was ordered to be transferred to a state prison July 16. He remained in custody at the jail Monday.