Uncle gets jail time in Wyoming baby’s death

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The uncle who piled blankets and pillows atop a crying 5-month-old baby to keep him quiet will spend the next year in jail, a Kent County judge decided on Wednesday.

Joseph Nguyen, 20, pleaded guilty last month to involuntary manslaughter in the death of his nephew, Isaiah Nguyen.

On Dec. 26, Joseph Nguyen and the baby’s father too Isaiah to Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming, where he was declared dead.

Wyoming police say the father said he was sleeping next to the child when he was found unresponsive. But police later learned Isaiah was in a crib and Joseph Nguyen admitted trying to quiet him by covering him with three blankets and two pillows. He left him like that for 90 minutes. A police affidavit said that “no reasonable person could think a 5-month-old baby could survive the condition” in which he was left.

Isaiah’s father, 21-year-old Viet Nguyen, pleaded guilty to attempted lying to police regarding his brother’s actions. He was sentenced to probation.

In court on Wednesday, both men apologized for their acts, saying they were without malice. Joseph Nguyen’s attorney said his client was under extreme pressure as a student at the University of Michigan when the death occurred.

Nguyen was sentenced under Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which means he can have his record cleared if he does not break the law again.

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