LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) — A Lancaster mother was sentenced Friday to 21 years and four months in prison in connection with the 2018 death of her seven-month-old son.
Anaiyah Alise Perry, who was originally charged with murder and grievous bodily harm to a child, received the sentence after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter as part of a plea agreement.
She had also pleaded guilty to four counts of child molestation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office involving the same child, Royal Marshall.
At an April 2021 hearing where Perry was arraigned, a neighbor, Dustin Stober, testified that the boy’s father rushed to his home with his son on Nov. 6, 2018, asking for help.
The military veteran said he began CPR on the baby when his wife called 911. He said the boy’s father was “visibly upset” and “crying,” while Perry appeared very expressionless.
The boy suffered head and neck injuries and was flown to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles after sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call in the 44000 block of Moccasin Place. According to prosecutors, the child died the next day.
Perry was arrested by LA County sheriff’s investigators on September 11, 2019.
Dr. Matthew Miller, who performed an autopsy on the boy, testified at the April 2021 hearing that he concluded the baby died of blunt force neck trauma, with the manner of death ruled a homicide.
Dr. Carol Berkowitz, a board-certified child abuse pediatrician, testified in 2021 that she reviewed the case files and concluded that, in her opinion, the boy was subjected to a “shaking motion” shortly before his death, and not 10 years ago until 14 days earlier.
Perry initially denied shaking the baby, but then later admitted that she had lightly shaken him about a week and a half earlier while gently rocking him back and forth, sheriff’s investigators testified at the 2021 hearing.
Perry was ordered to have no contact with her older son, who was finally released from Perry’s custody, according to prosecutors.
Before the plea agreement, Perry had faced the possibility of life in prison if convicted as charged.
City News Service contributed to this report.