DUNMORE — Matthew Evans has been behind bars since the night it all happened.
He was arrested not long after he called the ambulances to his apartment in Dunmore last December. He admitted to shaking his girlfriend’s 2-month-old son Jayden Cohen until little Jayden stopped breathing.
The child later died at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville and Evans was charged with murder.
More than six months later, Jayden’s family told a judge what happened in days leading up to the baby’s death.
“He would return to the hospital when it seemed like we just brought him home. His first Christmas home with his family he spent clinging to life,” said Jayden’s grandmother, Margaret Schneider.
Prosecutors dropped the charge of first degree murder in exchange for Evans’ guilty plea. That bears a lighter sentence.
Evans will spend 12 to 25 years in state prison, less time than baby Jayden’s family had hoped for.
“For that he needs to go to state prison and he needs to be punished and all the remorse in the world doesn’t take that away,” said Gene Talerico, the deputy assistant district attorney.
But, Evans attorney thought the sentence was fair since Evans accepted responsibility.
“We’re used to people trying to avoid responsibility or push responsibility off, and I think the judge saw that young Matthew had stepped up to his part and saw that he didn’t want to play the system. He took responsibility and accepts his punishment,” said Evans’ attorney Sid Prejean.