Milo man sentenced to 25 years behind bars for killing infant son

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 5:18 PM EDT
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DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine (WABI) - A Milo man accused of killing his one-month old son nearly two years ago went before a judge Wednesday to find out how long he will spend behind bars.

Reginald Melvin has been sentenced to 25 years in prison and six years probation.

Melvin had been charged with murder after the state ruled his son’s death a homicide in August 2021.

Melvin originally pleaded not guilty to that charge.

His trial was scheduled to get underway this week, but he reached a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to domestic violence manslaughter.

Court documents show the infant died of blunt force trauma on a number of parts of his body.

Melvin’s attorney says pleading guilty to the manslaughter charge was in his client’s best interest.

“You get desensitized to these pictures. You know, a one-month old infant. Yeah, these are not nice at all,” said defense attorney, Jeffrey Toothaker.

“These are always difficult cases especially in light of the fact that there were two people present in the home at the time of the child’s death,” said assistant district attorney, Leane Zainea. “We were aware that the defense was going to name the biological mother as the person who inflicted the injuries because she was the only other individual in the residence. It was always our belief, and we still maintain that it was Reginald Melvin who inflicted those injuries. But, to ensure that he would he held accountable for his son’s death, this was a good result.”

Court records show Melvin does have a history of domestic violence assault.

The baby’s mother said she contacted the Department of Health and Human Services expressing concerns about the safety of her son and young daughter due to threats made by Melvin to kill the family.

According to her report, DHHS and the caseworker never returned her call or visited her home.

“OCFS continually fails to protect children in their care and have not ceased in leaving vulnerable children in dangerous situations despite repeated warnings by family members and others that children are not safe.” said former senator Bill Diamond. “This is another regrettable, but all too familiar case illustrating OCFS’s incompetent management which never gets better.”

According to a report from Maine DHHS, the number of child deaths in Maine increased to 25 in 2021, the highest recorded number of deaths in the state dating back to 2007.