Heartbroken Teen Cries Out During Sentencing – But He Deserves It.

Dylan Schumaker, 17 year old teenager from Springville who gravely beat his girlfriend’s 23-month-old son, Austin, told a judge that he did not mean to kill the toddler. Dylan said in a weepy confession to his 19-year-old girlfriend in a Buffalo courtroom that he never wanted to hurt Austin and never wanted him to die.

However, Judges who convicted Dylan of second-degree murder last month didn’t agreed to it and neither did State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller. He sentenced Dylan to the extreme punishment of 25 years to life in jail.

Dylan earlier affirmed that he put a pillow on the back of Austin’s head and stamped it to stop him from crying and waking his baby brother. The recent attack occurred while Dylan was baby-sitting Austin and Austin’s 3-month-old brother.

Dylan lived with his mother along with Ashlee Smith and her two sons in his mother’s home on Cochran Avenue. He was 16 at the time of the attack and neither of the children was his. Eyewitnesses described the outbreak and Austin’s extensive head injuries that led to brain bleeding and death.

State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller said that the last minutes of Austin’s life must have been terrifying. The judge questioned Dylan’s testimony at trial that he did not mean to kill Austin or realize his actions could kill the toddler. Boller termed him a manipulator and deceiver.

The judge said he took note of a comment that Dylan made in a phone conversation with his mother while in the Erie County Holding Center awaiting trial. Dylan said to her mother that he is 16-year-old blond and probably all he have to do is cry and they’re going to feel sorry for him. The judge also cited the 200 texts that Dylan sent as he baby-sat the two children while his girlfriend worked her night job at a Springville restaurant. In those texts, the judge noted that Dylan tried to set up a sexual encounter with a girl and sell drugs to his friends.

The judge said that Dylan has triggered so much pain and sorrow for so many people. He said he received letters from 13 people telling how his crime impacted them.

Michael Smith, Austin’s grandfather told the judge in court that his family’s life was decimated because this didn’t have to happen while his voice breaking. Smith said that Dylan had plentiful occasions to get out of the house and seek help but he didn’t. Smith asked the judge to consider the family’s emotional state in sentencing Dylan.

Dylan said during the trial that Doctors prescribed medicine for him to treat his anger and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder but he chose not to take it.  

Joseph Terranova, Schumaker’s attorney, agreed with Smith. Terranova said the least sentence of 15 years to life would be a more sensible sentence, given his client’s rough childhood, his regret over Austin’s death and his incapability to take care of children.

When the judge asked that what about the safety of the community and if he is released in 15 years, who’s to say it won’t happen again?” In response to that, the defense attorney said that no one can forecast what will happen but he assured the judge that his client is not a serial killer who will get out and want to kill another kid.

Homicide prosecutor Colleen Curtin Gable said that to blame anyone other than Dylan for what happened flies in the face of reality. She said that although Dylan was inexpert as a baby sitter but what he did to Austin is not what a usual 16-year-old would have done.

Dylan told the judge that by taking in Ashlee Smith and her children into his mother’s home, he was just trying to be there. He then turned to Ashlee Smith and said sorry. Dylan then said that he never wanted Austin to die and don’t know why he didn’t go for help. He told the judge that he did not have a good family life while growing up but he thanked his family members for attending the sentencing.

During his trial, Dylan told the jury that he slapped Austin’s face and whacked him when he spit out his food and used offensiveness. He also self-confessed that he slammed Austin’s head on the floor while changing his diaper as the child tried to get up and that he later put a pillow over the back of his head and punched it three times because he was scared that the boy would wake up his baby brother.

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