Lethbridge man pleads guilty to criminal negligence in death of 9-month-old

WARNING: This story contains content that may be disturbing to some readers.

Tyler Hogan, 42, has admitted that his actions on April 28, 2016 led to the death of 9-month-old Austin Wright, according to an Agreed Statement of Facts (ASF) read to the court.

A second degree murder trial was set to begin Monday. Instead, Hogan pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing the death of Austin, his then-girlfriend’s baby boy.

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Hogan was charged with second degree murder just a few months after Austin died. In the ASF read by the crown, and agreed to by Hogan, he had been watching Austin while his girlfriend was at work. The young child had been sick in the days leading up to his death with a cold, and was teething and had been vomiting.

Austin’s mother left around 9:45 am. Shortly thereafter, the baby began to cry. Hogan, who was sitting on his knees on his bed, admitted to tossing him onto blankets, pillows and a mattress topper on the floor — an attempt to calm and play with the baby, according to the ASF.

During a re-enactment video played in court, Hogan told officers that it was something he did often with the child, usually on the couch, and it would cheer the baby up.

During the recording, Hogan also said that once he tossed the baby, he didn’t react, so Hogan thought he had just scared him.

Austin then pulled his head back, went limp, and stopped breathing after he was tossed, according to the ASF. An autopsy determined Austin had suffered severe multiple blunt force traumas, causing extensive brain and spinal injuries.

Instead of calling 911, Hogan called the boy’s mother who rushed home, called 911 and began CPR.

Court heard that Hogan did not tell paramedics, hospital staff our Austin’s mother that he had tossed the baby onto the floor. Months later, he admitted it to police during flow-up questioning.

A sentencing hearing has been set for Dec. 17.

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