EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — An El Dorado County man has been convicted of the second-degree murder of his six-week-old baby as well as three counts of felony child abuse.
Michael Swope was found guilty of killing the infant and breaking multiple ribs on the baby over the course of his short life.
According to the El Dorado County District Attorney, the infant was found unresponsive in his crib on Dec. 11, 2016, by his mother, Michael Swope’s wife. Ms. Swope had fed and put the baby to bed around 4 a.m. before going to sleep in her room.
Mr. Swope then woke up with the couple’s two-year-old around 6 a.m. and played with him in the front room where the baby was sleeping. Because he was playing loudly with the toddler, Swope said he carried the infant back to his bedroom when he began to “grump” and then went back to playing with the toddler, feeding him ice cream and brownies.
When Ms. Swope woke up, she realized the baby had not eaten for several hours and found her child unresponsive in his crib. Due to the lack of external signs of injury, the death was initially thought to be SIDS.
An autopsy revealed the baby had a complex skull fracture, severe brain injuries, and multiple broken ribs, among other injuries. Officials said some of the injuries were fresh while others showed signs of healing. The injuries were connected to child abuse.
Detectives later learned that Swope is not the infant’s biological father and he believed he was the product of an affair. Due to this, officials believe Mr. Swope handled the baby aggressively and expressed animosity toward him.
On one occasion, Mr. Swope even tossed the baby to his mother who was six feet away.
Mr. Swope was arrested on Dec. 29, 2016, for murder. He faces 43 years to life in prison for his crimes.