May 2, 2013 -- A Baltimore City Circuit Court jury convicted Sharmell Thomas, 23, today of manslaughter, first-degree child abuse resulting in death, first-degree child abuse resulting in serious bodily harm, and second-degree child abuse for killing his girlfriend's one-year-old daughter while babysitting her.
On June 13, 2012, firefighters responded to a call at an apartment in the 800 block of N. Stricker Street for a report of an injured child. Upon arrival, they found the victim lying on a bed, not breathing. The victim, along with Thomas, was transported to the emergency room at the University of Maryland Medical Center, where she succumbed to her injuries.
When an officer arrived at the hospital, he observed several bruises on the victim's arms and torso and immediately contacted the Child Abuse Unit.
Thomas provided a recorded statement. He advised that he had been babysitting the victim from the afternoon of June 12 until the morning of June 13, when she appeared to have a seizure. He stated that the victim lost consciousness and he then called 911 for help. He had no explanation for her injuries.
An autopsy was performed, and her death was ruled homicide by abusive head trauma.
Expert testimony at trial proved that the injuries could only have occurred during the timeframe when Thomas was caring for the child.
Thomas faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Assistant State's Attorneys Jesse Halvorsen and Eileen Murphy prosecuted the case.