A man convicted of killing his 14 month old son while living in Durant was sentenced during a sentencing hearing Thursday.
Marin Clay Allison, 25, Finley, was sentenced to 19 years in a state penitentiary, a sentence recommended by the jury that heard the case.
Alison will receive credit toward his sentence for time served in county jail before his sentencing. Allison was charged with first-degree murder for the death of his son Ethan. During a trial in October, the jury found him guilty of a lesser charge of second-degree murder.
Ethan died after suffering a massive skull fracture to the back of his head while in Allison’s care last May, according to authorities.
Allison did not take the child to seek medical care for some hours after realizing there was a problem, according to an affidavit by Durant Police that states he became frustrated with his young son who was wanting to play while Mr. Allison was ill. Allison then stayed up all night researching brain injuries and coma symptoms on the Internet before calling for help at approximately 5:45 the following morning when the child stopped breathing. Ethan later died from a traumatic brain injury at a Dallas hospital.
A jury deliberated for approximately three hours during Allison’s trial in October before finding him guilty of murder in the second degree and setting punishment at 19 years in prison.
Before sentencing, Bryan County District Judge Mark Campbell was presented with letters and videos both in defense and against the defendant.
A letter from Ethan’s mother who had shared custody of Ethan asked for the “toughest sentence” possible even though she believes Allison’s worst punishment will be living each day knowing he killed his son.
In the letter, the mother said Ethan was the best thing that had ever happened to her and she could not describe the pain she felt at losing him.
Even more than her son being killed, the mother wrote, “What hurts most was that the murderer was someone he loved and trusted.”
Before the sentence was handed down, Allison’s attorney Warren Gotcher asked for leniency for the 25 year old, saying that he is a young man who made a mistake.
“He should have taken him to the hospital soon,” said Gotcher, who also said that outside of that fault, the incident was an accident.
Upon sentencing, Allison was given the opportunity to say a few words and he spoke about the effects of what had happened.
“I have to wake up every day without my son beside me,” he said. He also acknowledged the loss felt by Ethan’s entire family saying, “It’s not right.”
Ethan’s maternal grandfather Bill Ritz said he and his family are satisfied with the results although it will not help the pain.
“It’s not about revenge. It’s about justice,” said Ritz.