Marcus D. Scott was convicted Tuesday of fatally beating his estranged girlfriend's 16-month-old son because the boy wouldn't stop crying.
After about three hours of deliberations at the close of a weeklong trial, a jury of seven women and five men found Scott, 19, of Poultney Avenue, guilty of second-degree murder for killing Tabius Wesley on April 6.
Scott, jailed since his arrest a day after the baby's death, displayed no reaction as the verdict was announced at about 3 p.m. Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico remanded him to jail pending Nov. 3 sentencing. He faces a mandatory life term, with a minimum term of 15 to 25 years to be set by the judge.
During a trial in which no defense witnesses were called, the jury learned through that the boy died of a lacerated liver caused by blunt trauma.
Prosecutors Colleen Curtin Gable and Frank A. Sedita III presented medical evidence that the baby had been the victim of repeated physical abuse by Scott in the last weeks of his life because Scott was annoyed by his crying.
every time his girlfriend left him alone to watch another lover's child.
The boy's mother, now 21, testified Thursday that she kept finding burn marks, bruises and scratches on her child whenever she left him alone with Scott and never believed Scott when he denied physically abusing her son.
In closing arguments, Scott's attorney John J. Molloy contended that it was just as likely that the baby was fatally beaten by his mother, insisting there was reasonable doubt of Scott's guilt.
Scott has been jailed since his arrest hours after the baby died in Children's hospital.
Prosecutors Gable and Sedita told the jury that an autopsy showed the baby had been beaten within five hours of his death, at a time when only Scott was with the boy.
The prosecutors reminded the jury that Scott told homicide detectives last spring that he had punched Tabius in the stomach and thrown him onto a bed hours before the baby's death because the boy's crying was annoying him.
Sedita told the jury Scott is "a callous child abuser" who exhibited what he called "a depraved indifference" to the life of the child by admittedly throwing the baby onto a bed just because it was crying like a normal baby.
Court officials said that after Scott and the baby's mother took the dying boy to a YWCA day care center April 6, Scott appeared in City Court in a criminal mischief case. An ambulance was called after Tabius had trouble breathing.
The boy was pronounced dead in Children's Hospital that afternoon, and doctors who worked on him called homicide detectives after finding bruises and other injuries on the boy's body, court officials said.
Molloy said the conviction and Scott's impending sentence will be appealed.