Lummi Tribe member gets 8-years in death of infant daughter

SEATTLE -- A member of the Lummi Tribe was sentenced Wednesday to more than eight years in prison for causing the death of his infant child.

Lawrence V. Tom, 23, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of his six-month old daughter.

On May 10, 2012, Tom was home alone with his infant daughter and his 18-month-old daughter when he became frustrated by the infant's crying, according to federal prosecutors.

Tom squeezed the girl's head between his right bicep and forearm, causing a traumatic brain injury. After waiting three days, Tom eventually asked a neighbor to call 911, saying the infant had stopped breathing.

Doctors discovered the girl had skull fractures and brain bleeding. She died a short time later.

In asking the judge for a 10-year prison sentence, prosecutors said the girl "suffered greatly in her home for several days before (Tom) sought medical care for her." When contacted by police, Tom initially lied about how the girl was injured, prosecutors say.

On Wednesday, a judge sentenced Tom to 97 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted in federal court because the death took place on the Lummi reservation.