Gresham man gets 18 years in prison for causing death of baby

Gresham man gets 18 years in prison for causing death of baby

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Gresham man was sentenced to 18 years in prison Monday for causing the death of a baby girl.

Jeffrey Locker, 22, agreed to the sentence as part of a plea agreement. Prosecutors said 1-year-old Brooklyn Saechao died from a severe head injury in August 2011.

Locker called 911 on Tuesday, Aug. 2 from the Gresham home where he lived with his girlfriend and her child. He said he was taking care of the baby and she fell, hitting her head on something. But investigators said the child's injuries didn't match his story.

Saechao died that Thursday and the next day Locker was picked up driving toward the Washington border. Police got a tip that he had left the Portland area.

Investigators said Locker didn't take responsibility at first. But during his sentencing, Locker's attorneys told the court that he accepts responsibility in the death of Saechao.

While Locker didn't give a statement at his sentencing, his lawyer, Martha Spinhirne, told the judge that Locker wanted to avoid a trial to spare the family more pain.

The family was in the courtroom, including Saechao’s mother who is pregnant again. Her friend spoke on her behalf after the sentencing outside the courtroom.

"No matter how much time a person's given it will never give her back the opportunity to see her child's first kiss, her first love," said Michelle Ellam. "Her family being able to watch her grow up and get married – that's never gonna give back so it doesn't matter how much time he gets."