DOVER, Del. — A Delaware man accused in the death of a 7-month-old child has rejected a plea deal and will go on trial.

The Delaware State News reports 48-year-old James E. Hammond is charged with first-degree murder by abuse or neglect in the February 2014 death of Aubri N. Thompson. Hammond on Monday rejected the Delaware Department of Justice’s offer to plead guilty to a second-degree murder charge, which would have carried a 10-year sentence.

Defense attorney P. Scott Wilson says Hammond is aware of the risk in rejecting the offer.

A medical examiner’s report says the baby girl died from blunt force trauma. Investigators said they were told she had fallen from a crib while Hammond was watching her during her parents’ vacation.

A jury trial is scheduled to start Tuesday.


Information from: Delaware State News, http://delawarestatenews.net

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.