Man sentenced for shaking baby

MIAMI COUNTY — A Troy man who violently shook his infant daughter causing permanent brain damage was sentenced to serve six years in prison on Tuesday.

Now nearly 2 years old, the little girl with a pink bow in her hair snored softly in her stroller, as Roger Meyer, the man who assaulted her at 4 months old, apologized to the court, to her family and to her as well.

“I apologize for everything I’ve done,” he said. “I failed. I made a big mistake.”

Meyer said he never meant to hurt the child, and claimed he didn’t know he was “capable of doing that.”

“She didn’t deserve that. I hope they can forgive me for what I’ve done. I hope everything with her will be OK and they forgive me,” he said.

Miami County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Watkins asked for the court to follow the joint recommendation of six years in prison for the second-degree felony assault charge. He also stated there were many victim impact statements from the child’s family and custodial guardians.

The grandmother of the child told the court, “It’s been a long road, it’s going to be a long road. She doesn’t deserve this. She’s 2 years old. She should be talking. She could be able to say Mawmaw. She shouldn’t be on oxygen, wearing baby clothes. She didn’t deserve this sentence … she gets this sentence. I should be able to play with her and I can’t because of him.”

Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt reviewed Meyer’s criminal history, which included two separate convictions of domestic violence and several incidents of disorderly conduct.

Pratt told Meyer his actions toward the infant was “sickening” to the court.

“Your actions will have a lifelong affect on this child,” she said, noting the permanent brain damage and developmental delays that have impaired the child’s growth and quality of life.

Pratt said she is bound by the law, although the law doesn’t adequately address the severity of Meyer’s assault of the child. Pratt said she has tremendous respect for the state and Meyer’s appointed public defender Kevin Lennon’s plea agreement and honored their joint recommendation of six years total due to the merger of the counts. She imposed a $15,000 fine and granted Meyer 519 days of jail credit. He will have mandatory three years of post-release control following his prison sentence.

Meyer was indicted by a grand jury and arraigned on felony charges for allegedly shaking his 4-month-old daughter in a Troy hotel room on Jan. 31, 2019.

The incident was originally reported as the baby was having seizures.

According to police reports, an officer responded to the Royal Inn for a second time regarding the baby’s condition and its seizure-like activity. The officer noted a Troy Fire personnel noticed only one of the child’s eyes would partially open and the other pupil was fixed and dilated. The baby was transported to Upper Valley Medical Center and then transported to Dayton Children’s for treatment.