Father pleads guilty to murder in infant son’s death, sentenced to 40 years


A father whose 3-month-old son died of head trauma in December 2018 was sentenced to 40 years in prison Monday for the child’s murder.

Shomari Kevorkian Center, 27, appeared before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell on Monday morning for a plea and sentencing with Little Rock, Arkansas, attorney Ron Davis.

First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said the plea bargain was approved by the family of the victim. Crisp said the mother and family of Center’s victim will not have to experience the trauma and difficulty of a trial.

Texarkana, Texas, police responded Dec. 5, 2018, to the 1000 block of College Drive in response to a 911 call regarding a baby not breathing, according to earlier press statements from police. Center had allegedly carried the child from his residence in the 2800 block of Texas Blvd. looking for help.

The baby was initially treated at a hospital in Texarkana but was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. The infant died there Dec. 9, 2018.

An autopsy report showed the baby had rib fractures in various stages of healing, indicating abuse occurred on more than one occasion.

Center was arrested on the murder charge in May 2019.

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