A man has been sentenced to life in prison for the death of an infant in 2014.
Roy Stephens, 51, formerly of Tennyson, was convicted of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse and manslaughter of a child by a jury in Florida on Dec. 6. Stephens and his wife Ruby Stephens, 26, were charged and arrested in 2015 following the death of their 22-day-old daughter while traveling to Florida to visit relatives for the holiday.
A probable cause affidavit showed that the Stephens had called 911 outside of a restaurant when they realized their daughter was unresponsive. An autopsy later showed that the childâ€™s digestive system was almost completely empty.
The baby was also shown to have been born at just over six pounds and should have weighed around eight pounds, but only weighed just over four pounds.
The autopsy stated that while the couple had originally told the police that they had stopped every couple of hours for Ruby to breastfeed the child, but she later told the police that the child might not have been fed since the family left the hotel earlier in the morning.
In arguments to the court, Roy stated that he believed Ruby had been feeding the baby and said that she always fed the baby in a separate room.
However, the affidavit said that Ruby had never used a breast pump that had been purchased.
The affidavit also revealed that Roy was not the childâ€™s father. Roy apparently had been told by Ruby that the baby had been conceived through an affair.
The couple had moved with their two other children in August of 2014 just before the baby was born to Tennyson where Roy had purchased a home from eBay. The couple had been working to renovate the home before they left for the trip, according to the affidavit.
Roy Stephens was automatically sentenced to life in prison as a result of the conviction.
Ruby Stephens was also charged with the same crime, but has yet to face a trial in the case. She appeared in a pretrial conference on Dec. 18.