BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Friday was a very dramatic day in court as a young man learned his fate. He beat his girlfriend’s little boy to death because he wouldn’t stop crying.
The courtroom was packed with family and friends supporting the defendant Dylan Schumaker and his victim’s family. Schumaker walked into a state supreme courtroom pleading his case, telling his victim’s mother and the court he’s remorseful for what he did.
Schumaker said, “I didn’t mean to kill Austin. Ashlee I really didn’t. Do you think I did this? I didn’t mean to hurt him.”
Schumaker was sentenced Friday for beating 23-month-old Austin Smith last March.
Before the sentence was handed down, Schumaker and his defense attorney fought for minimum sentence.
Schumaker said, “I can’t take back what was done. I wish I could. I would give my life. I love him a lot.”
Defense Attorney Joe Terranova said, “Austin Smith was completely defenseless, that’s a given. But there were other dynamics at work there, including my client’s ability to either control his anger or frustration and his inexperience with babysitting.”
State Supreme Court Judge William Boller said, “Based on his short life, now what is to say that he won’t do this again?”
Terranova said, “Well we don’t know that. I think it’s completely unlikely. It was a situational, circumstantial thing.”
In Boller’s last words to Schumaker, he told the 17-year-old that in his short life, he’s caused much despair to many people. Boller said he listened intently to Schumaker’s testimony during the trial and called him a manipulator, who minimizes his actions.
Boller said, “The records will show that only July 23rd, 2013 in a phone call to your mother from the Holding Center you stated, and I got a quote from the court reporter, ‘I am a 16-year-old blond. Probably all I have to do is cry in front of the jury and they’re going to feel sorry for me.’ End quote.”
Afterwards, Schumaker was sentenced to 25 years to life behind bars.