March 8, 2014
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A Huntington man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison in the shaking death of a 4-month-old girl he was babysitting.
Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell gave Michael Fannin the maximum sentence Friday, shortly after a jury returned a guilty verdict on a charge of child abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian causing death.
Emma Beatty died at a hospital of head trauma and other injuries in May 2011, three days after Fannin had watched the infant at his home.
The baby's mother, Melissa Hershberger, had testified she met Fannin online during maternity leave, developed a friendship and sought his help in caring for the child while she worked.
Cabell County assistant prosecutor Peggy Brown told the Herald-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/16j4TG6) that the punishment was appropriate.
Information from: The Herald-Dispatch, http://www.herald-dispatch.com