"The average person that hears about this case can't understand how you would beat or punch any living human being as badly as you did in this case -- let alone your own child," the judge said.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of murder and child abuse that may be disturbing to readers.
Travis Stackhouse, 30, was presented with a cheesecake for Father's Day in June 2019, but the father-of-four was reportedly upset that his children ate most of the confectionary item, per CBS58. In his rage, he is said to have punched one of his sons, Sir Amer Stackhouse, and the injuries the 5-year-old boy sustained were grave, resulting in his unfortunate death.
Officers who were called to a home near 26th and Ruby in Milwaukee were informed by the boy's caretakers that the child had fallen down the stairs, but his injuries were not consistent with that claim, reports FOX6. The cops who had arrived tried to revive the boy but were unsuccessful in their efforts. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office determined he suffered a ruptured stomach, bruised kidneys, and a torn adrenal gland. He died from blunt force trauma to the abdomen.
Later, Stackhouse admitted to punching his son in the stomach and hitting him in the face with the back of his hand, which he said is heavier than normal because of metal inside from surgery, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. After physically abusing the boy, the father went to a bar to hang out with his friends until about 2 am. When he got home, his girlfriend and mother of the boy called 911 to report the crime.
Father-of-four jailed for 'atrocious' murder of 5yo son because he ate his cake https://t.co/yxd0qxj0RX— Newshub (@NewshubNZ) June 30, 2021
Stackhouse was convicted of killing Sir Amer and during the trials, Deputy District Attorney Matthew Torbenson said the victim's brother, who was 6 at the time, was going to be called as a witness. However, the boy's videotaped interview was shared with investigators as he was too disturbed after what had happened. Stackhouse also played his recorded confession, after which he asked the judge permission to speak with his mother who had been watching the trial.
About two years after the incident, Stackhouse was sentenced on Tuesday, June 29, 2021, to 20 years in prison and an additional eight years of extended supervision. He also has to pay $500,000 restitution. Earlier this year, in May, he pleaded guilty to three charges: second-degree reckless homicide, neglecting a child, and child abuse-intentionally cause harm.
"Basically in Milwaukee County, basically in the City of Milwaukee, everybody shrugs their shoulders at homicides. No one cares," Judge David Borowski stated during sentencing. "Occasionally people actually care about child homicides because they're so awful and so heinous and so just gut-wrenching that occasionally the community, the people in Milwaukee County, and others actually care about homicides when children are killed."
The judge also mentioned this was such a terrible situation. "The average person that hears about this case can't understand how you would beat or punch any living human being as badly as you did in this case -- let alone your own child," the judge said. "How you can live with yourself ever for a day -- I don't understand."
Prosecutors, who are worried about the other children at home, requested the judge to sentence Stackhouse to 21 years in prison. But the judge took into consideration the fact that Stackhouse eventually confessed and stopped the trial to enter a guilty plea.
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