A man from Lackawanna County pleaded guilty Friday to murder for the death of a two-month-old baby last year.
Police said Matthew Evans shook the infant so violently that the child went into a coma and later died. Now, Evans could face up to 40 years in prison for the crime.
By pleading guilty, Matthew Evans holds up his end of a deal with the district attorney’s office. He will serve a sentence for third-degree murder instead of first-degree murder.
Newswatch 16 spoke to members of Evans’ family who said he is grief-stricken and accepts that he has made a terrible mistake.
Evans entered a guilty plea only days after being charged with the murder of his live-in girlfriend’s two-month-old son. The 21-year-old has been in Lackawanna County prison since that day in late December when he was accused of violently shaking two-month-old Jayden Cohen in an apartment house in Dunmore. J
Jayden was rushed to Geisinger Medical Center near Danville where he died a few weeks later.
Evans had a chance to speak to his family before pleading guilty at the Lackawanna County Courthouse.
He said, “I deserved this guys, stop crying, for real.”
“It makes him seem like a monster, but he’s not. He’s not a monster. He’s my brother,” said Evans’ sister, April Evans.
She doesn’t describe her brother as a killer, instead, as a loving uncle and a member of the National Guard. She said Evans decided not to take his case to trial because, simply, it was the right thing to do.
“He’s hurt about it, he’s hurt. He’s afraid he looks bad, you know what I mean, and the media makes him seem to be that way, and he’s really not,” April Evans added.
Prosecutors said they will seek the maximum sentence for Evans. He could spend up to 40 years in prison.
“This is not a good day, it’s never a good day. There’s nothing that could bring Jayden back. I think that there’s some sense of relief that he’s accepted some responsibility and he’s going to be held accountable, but at the end of the day Matthew Evans is going to have something Jayden Cohen doesn’t have and that’s life,” said Assistant District Attorney Gene Talerico.
Evans will be sentenced some time this summer.