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Cox faces sentencing in death of 2-month-old

June 01, 2009

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- A man convicted March 29 of killing a 2-month-old will be sentenced by Jefferson County Circuit Judge David Sanders on Monday, a Jefferson County assistant prosecutor said.

Michael Todd Cox, 41, of Germantown, Md., was found guilty of felony child abuse by a custodian, resulting in the death of Colton Lee James of Jefferson County. Colton, the son of Cox's girlfriend at the time, died Dec. 10, 2007, from blunt force trauma resulting in a fractured skull.

Jefferson County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Brandon Sims said that because Cox was convicted on three previous felony charges in Maryland between 1988 and 1993, he qualifies for an enhanced prison sentence.

Cox faces 10 to 40 years in prison in the boy's death and would be eligible for parole after 10 years.

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Under the three-strikes rule, Cox would be sentenced to life in prison with mercy, meaning he would be eligible for parole after 15 years.

Sims said Monday after a hearing before Sanders that Cox admitted he is the same person who committed the previous offenses. But Cox is arguing that two of the offenses should not be considered because they were not felonies, Sims said.

Sims said her office is arguing that as long as the offenses could have resulted in penitentiary time they would count under a three-strikes rule.

Sanders will consider the arguments and render a decision at Cox's sentencing Monday at 9 a.m., Sims said.

-- Dave McMillion

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