Crime - Sacto 911

Man sentenced in death of infant who died in his care

A Sacramento judge sentenced Damien Porter to 25 years to life in state prison for second-degree murder in the killing of the infant boy in his care.

Porter was sentenced Dec. 30.

Graeson Byrd was 11 weeks old April 8, 2013, when emergency dispatchers received a call that afternoon from the Ethan Avenue apartment where Porter was watching the child while Graeson’s mother, Davonna Byrd, was at work, attorneys said at trial.

Medical evidence showed that Graeson’s death was caused by a serious head injury and that he had sustained rib, arm and leg fractures over several weeks.

Paramedics arrived to find the boy not breathing and the infant was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital.

Porter, 27, and Byrd were arrested in San Francisco in 2014 on murder and assault charges in the child’s death. Byrd spent about a year in custody awaiting trial.

But Byrd’s attorney asserted her innocence, saying Graeson’s injuries happened while she was away at work. Sacramento Superior Court jurors in November needed just hours to acquit Byrd of her son’s death.

A separate jury convicted Porter days later of second-degree murder and assault on a child causing death at his trial before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Steve White.

Medical evidence showed that Graeson’s death was caused by a serious head injury and that he had sustained numerous other injuries inflicted over several weeks. They included rib, arm and leg fractures, prosecutors said.

Darrell Smith: 916-321-1040, @dvaughnsmith

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