A 28-year-old Long Beach man on Tuesday pleaded guilty to charges in connection to the 2016 death of a 2-year-old boy in Massachusetts, according to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office.
Timy Jo Griffin pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter just as the jury selection for his case was scheduled to begin in Brockton Superior Court.
Authorities said Griffin, then 21, was caring for his then-girlfriend’s son, Nazier Phillips, on Dec. 5, 2016, when just before 7 p.m. that night, Brockton police received an emergency call regarding an unresponsive toddler.
Phillips had suffered severe head trauma, according to authorities, and he was rushed to a local hospital before then being flown to Boston for treatment. He died from his injuries three days later.
Griffin told investigators that he was taking care of the Phillips when the 2-year-old boy had a tantrum, fell off the bed, and struck his head, knocking him unconscious.
Detectives interviewed numerous physicians that treated Phillips, and an outside expert, all of whom came to the conclusion that the toddler’s injuries were consistent with somebody violently shaking a child or slamming them, according to the Plymouth DA’s Office.
While Phillips was at the hospital in critical condition, Griffin returned to California, according to the DA’s office. However, in 2019, following a secret indictment by a Plymouth County grand jury, Griffin was taken into custody in California on suspicion of murder and reckless endangerment of a child, and transported to Massachusetts to stand trial for Phillip’s death.
After pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, Griffin was sentenced by a Brockton Superior Court judge to a state prison stay ranging from 10 years to 10 years and one day.