Man Sent to Prison for Susquehanna County Baby Death

MONTROSE -- A man from Susquehanna County was sent to prison Monday after a guilty plea in connection with a child's death.

Andrew Lesser, 32, of Montrose, was sentenced to prison Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to charges related to his girlfriend's baby's death in 2013.

Lesser will serve between a year and a half and three years in prison and serve another seven years of probation for the death of 7-month-old Mavrick Starke.

At first, investigators didn't know the cause of death, but the baby's mother eventually turned him in nearly three years later.

"It's all done. It's closed. I respect the lawyers. I respect the judge. I'm looking forward to working with Andy in the future," said Lesser's pastor Rev. Barry Jaggars.

Lesser pleaded guilty last month to involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

He was charged in 2016, three years after the baby's death. He admits putting his hand over the baby's mouth to stop him from crying.

"There's no question that what Andrew did was wrong. I can tell you it was unintentional. Negligent, reckless, yes, unintentional," said defense attorney Paul Ackourey.

Lesser was the boyfriend of Mavrick's mother. He had nothing to say to the cameras or to the baby's grandmother in the courtroom.

"It wouldn't have mattered, but I knew he wouldn't. I knew he wouldn't," said the baby's grandmother Debra Hack.

Hack read a letter to her grandson in the courtroom apologizing for not being able to save him. "He would put his little arms around your neck and grab your face and give you kisses."

Hack's best friend also spoke in court wearing a Mavrick's Voice t-shirt saying what she thought he would have said if he was here.

"I always vowed to be part of that voice because part of me was also put to death," Sarah Hauer said.

In 2016, Lesser was locked up on unrelated theft charges. While he was in jail, a recorded phone conversation with Mavrick's mother helped investigators uncover the truth about the baby's death.

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