Calvin Melvin Jr. sentenced to 10 years in prison after son found buried in backyard

Melvin pleaded no contest to giving false information to law enforcement officials


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A man who pleaded no contest last month to three felony counts of giving false information to a law enforcement officer after his son was found buried in his backyard was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Calvin Melvin Jr. and Brittany Sierra were arrested in January 2013 after it was discovered that their son, Dontrell Melvin, had been missing since 2011.

Police later found Dontrell's body buried behind the couple's Hallandale Beach home.

Police reports indicate the body had blunt trauma to the skull caused by police during the recovery. The medical examiner's office determined the bones were too damaged to determine a cause of death, but said Dontrell's death was due to "violence by undetermined means."

Child neglect charges were dropped against Sierra in April. According to a closeout memo, Sierra and Melvin had discussed placing the baby up for adoption. Sierra told detectives that Melvin took it upon himself to give the baby to his parents without her consent. She said his parents didn't like her, and she believed they were keeping her son away from her.

Detectives made contact with the parents, who said they hadn't seen Dontrell since he was 2 months old. Dontrell would have been 18 months old at the time his body was found.

According to the memo, law enforcement did not intervene after Sierra's numerous phone calls to police, because they believed it was "strictly a civil matter."

Neither parent was ever charged with murder, due to a lack of evidence in the case. Child neglect charges against Melvin were dropped last month.

He faced up to 15 years in prison during sentencing.

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