MAYS LANDING — An Atlantic City man admitted Friday that he caused the death of his infant daughter in 2011, after he dropped her and she hit her head against a radiator.
Telly Burns, 30, was caring for the 4½-month-old girl April 29, 2011, at his North Indiana Avenue home when she suffered what Assistant Prosecutor Pam D’Arcy called “devastating injuries.”
“You acknowledge that’s a direct result of your actions?” she asked Burns.
“Yes,” he said.
Burns faces 10 years in prison when he is sentenced March 22, under a plea agreement that lowered the charge from first-degree aggravated manslaughter to second-degree manslaughter. He could have faced as long as 20 years on the original charge.
He would have to serve at least 85 percent of that sentence, meaning, with time served, he would be free by his 38th birthday.
Burns showed no emotion as he answered yes to several questions posed by defense attorney Nellie Marquez, including that Nyimah Janet Elain Burns — identified only as N.B. in court — had “beat her head on the radiator.”
“You read the medical records of your daughter’s devastating injuries, correct?” D’Arcy then asked Burns, who said he did.
Burns was arrested the day after his daughter’s injury. The charge was upgraded to aggravated manslaughter May 2, 2011, after she was taken off life support and died.
Burns previously served a 15-month prison term stemming from a drug conviction in 2007. In that case, he admitted to distribution of drugs within 500 feet of public housing.
An announcement of Nyimah’s birth Dec. 18, 2010, ran in The Press, listing her parents as Burns and Meshae Beck. The baby’s obituary did not mention her father.
D’Arcy told Superior Court Judge Kyran Connor that family would at least be writing a letter that would be read in court at the sentencing, and that some may want to speak.
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