MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Four-month-old Javon died after his dad hit him so hard that he fractured his skull and caused bleeding in the brain, police said.
Yosi Mahlab, 33, plead guilty to manslaughter Wednesday for a Jan. 21, 2012 crime at his North Miami apartment that horrified South Florida moms.
"I didn't beat my child," Mahlab later said in court. "I smacked my child."
He had been charged with first degree murder, after Javon died in the hospital about two weeks later. Attorneys agreed to a lesser charge and Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Ellen. Sue Venzer sentenced Mahlab to nine years in prison Wednesday.
After Mahlab hit the baby twice, he slipped off his lap and hit a nightstand, he later said. Doctors at Jackson Memorial Hospital said the baby was brain dead after the beating.
"After the child stopped breathing, he did not call 911 for about 30 minutes," a prosecutor said in court. "That delay in time, your honor, caused a lot of brain damage to this child."
Mahlab was charged Jan. 27, 2012 with aggravated child abuse causing great bodily harm, two counts of child neglect and manslaughter, records show. After the baby's mother was ready to let him go and doctors took him off life support, prosecutors changed the charge to first degree murder Feb. 10, 2012.
Mahlab's defense attorneys argued the killing was unintentional. His intent was to discipline Javon, Mahlab said, not to kill him. Javon would have turned two-years-old last week.