Dad gets 10 years for beating baby son (newborn sister died)
Austin Meli was sentenced for murdering his toddler. (Austin Meli via Facebook)
WALL — A township man has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison for violently abusing his 15-month-old son, Monmouth County Prosecutor Chris Gramiccioni said Monday.
The same incident resulted in the death of the man's newborn daughter, for which he has been separately charged with murder.
Austin Meli, 23, pleaded guilty on Oct. 29, 2019, in Monmouth County Superior Court to charges of second-degree aggravated assault, two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and fourth degree tampering with physical evidence.
The charges stem from an incident on March 9, 2019, when Wall Township Police responded to Meli's home.
Prosecutors said Meli had physically abused his toddler son, referred to in court by the initials "A.B." Some of the abuse was captured on video surveillance cameras that Meli himself had installed in the room, according to police.
Meli separately was charged in January with murder, for the death of his newborn daughter stemming from the same incident.
When police arrived at the home on March 9, 2019, they found the unresponsive six-week-old girl, referred to in court by the initials "G.B."
The newborn was pronounced dead at Ocean Medical Center in Brick.
Those charges still are ongoing and Meli remains in Monmouth County jail.
As reported by the Asbury Park Press, court documents describe some of the home surveillance footage as showing Meli swinging his young son by his ankles, causing the boy to scream, before covering the 15-month-old toddler's mouth and nose, until he stopped making noise.
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