Guilty plea in toddler's death


July 30, 2008|By MELISSA HARRIS

A 28-year-old Jarrettsville man pleaded guilty yesterday to voluntary manslaughter in the death of his former live-in girlfriend's 2-year-old son, Anthony Joseph D'Urso.

Circuit Judge Charles G. Bernstein sentenced Paul Highfield of the 4000 block of Security Lane to the maximum 10 years in prison.

On Sept. 12, 2006, prosecutors said, the boy's mother left her son in Highfield's care while she was at work. When she returned home, Anthony was vomiting uncontrollably and his mother found knuckle-size bruises on his stomach. The boy died during the night.

The medical examiner's office ruled that Anthony died of a beating to the stomach and that the injuries could not have occurred accidentally.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's Maryland section inaccurately described a court proceeding involving a 28-year-old Jarrettsville man charged in connection with the death of his former live-in girlfriend's 2-year-old son. Baltimore prosecutors said Paul Highfield took an Alford plea, which allows him to deny guilt but concede that the state has enough evidence to convict him. A judge then entered a guilty finding of voluntary manslaughter.

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