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Steinmiller Sentenced to 14 Years in Death of Son PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK, Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 22 November 2013 15:19
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Brian Steinmiller addressing the court during his sentencing Friday. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Going beyond a sentence recommended in a plea agreement, Judge Robert Pollex sentenced Brian Steinmiller to 14 years in prison for the 2012 death of his infant son.
Steinmiller, 32, of Brim Road, was sentenced Friday afternoon in Wood County Court of Common Pleas.
Steinmiller was arrested after the May 5, 2012, death of his son, Carter, who was 3 months old. He was initially indicted for one count of murder, one count of involuntary manslaughter and four counts of endangering children in the death. In September he pleaded guilty to the involuntary manslaughter count, and two counts of endangering children as part of a plea deal.
The child had reportedly suffered numerous injuries throughout his short life, including 23 rib fractures, burns on one hand and one foot, fractures to an arm bone, and skull injuries. The abuse had been ongoing since January, 2012, the month he was born. The cause of death was found to be abusive head trauma.
Defense attorney Alan Konop termed the crime “a tragedy” and noted that in the report prepared prior to sentencing Steinmiller had taken responsibility for it. He said Steinmiller shows “a genuine remorse for what happened.”
Konop noted that Steinmiller had both drug and mental illness issues he had dealt with for years prior to the death.
“If only it had been resolved earlier.”
Prosecuting attorney Gwen Howe-Gebers, referring to the pre-sentencing investigation, said Steinmiller should accept responsibility for what he had done. She noted Steinmiller knew he had injured his son early-on “and did nothing.”
“He continued to injure the child,” including burning him to make the boy stop crying.
She termed the crime “horrific.”
Steinmiller, in a brief statement, rose to address the judge and, with head turned back to the small audience in the gallery, Carter’s grandparents.
“I wish I could give Carter back his life,” he said. “I’m sorry.”
While both attorneys consented to the originally agreed-upon 10-year prison sentence, Pollex noted that the maximum for the charges was 17 years. The court is not bound to follow sentencing recommendations in plea agreements.
He acknowledged that nothing in the sentence would bring Carter back “or satisfy feelings of anger in this crime.”
“This child was basically tortured at this young age,” said Pollex.
He sentenced Steinmiller to 11 years on the involuntary manslaughter charge, and a total of six years for the endangering children charges. However, with a nod to the 10-year plea agreement, and a concern that the two endangering children counts might be merged, he allowed the second endangering children count to be served concurrently, for a total of 14 years in prison.
Konop, after the sentencing, would only comment that “we will be appealing the sentence.”
The mother of the child, Rebecca Steinmiller, 26, Bowling Green, pleaded guilty to an endangering children charge in October in the death and is to be sentenced Jan. 28 at 9:30 a.m.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 November 2013 15:21
 

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