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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 06/18/14
LIFE SENTENCE. Above, from left, Ronald DiMambro of Washington Township, attorney Randy Rodnick and Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith at a prior hearing at the 42-1 District Court in Romeo. DiMambro, 27, was found guilty of first-degree felony murder and first-degree child abuse on June 10 in the Macomb County Circuit Court.
(Observer file photo)
DiMambro to face life in
prison for death of child
by CHRIS GRAYRonald DiMambro Jr. of Washington Township was found guilty of murder and first-degree child abuse regarding the death of 2-year-old Damian Sutton.
Observer Staff Writer
The verdict was reached on June 10 at the Macomb County Circuit Court in front of Judge Jennifer Faunce. The murder charge carries a punishment of mandatory life imprisonment without parole, while the child abuse charge is punishable by up to life in prison.
DiMambro, 27, will be sentenced on July 17 by Faunce.
DiMambro was accused of beating the child of his girlfriend, Nicole Sutton, when he was baby-sitting him on Aug 21. DiMambro and his father called 911 claiming Damian was having trouble breathing and became unresponsive due to an asthma attack.
Damian was rushed to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and later to Children's Hospital in Detroit. He was removed from life support on Aug. 27.
The autopsy report showed Damian sustained two blunt-force trauma blows to the right side of his head that caused his brain to swell and bleed. County Medical Examiner Dr. Daniel Spitz testified that the injuries were homicidal in nature, not accidental.
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith was the lead courtroom prosecutor on the case.
"Justice spoke for Damian Sutton today," he said. "We hope that this verdict helps bring some measure of solace to his mother and his relatives.
"Nothing will bring little Damian back to us. The death of this little boy shocks our community. The loss of this tender young life strikes each of us at the heart."
Detectives that interviewed DiMambro said he admitted to shaking and dropping Damian, but didn't confess to causing the fatal blows.
Randy Rodnick, DiMambro's attorney, asked for involuntary manslaughter but was denied. His request to have the jury consider second-degree child abuse was granted, but the jury remained with the first-degree charge.
"The bottom line is the prosecutor did a good job on the case," he said. "You have a beautiful baby that was killed and my client was the only one there, he has a confession, what more can I say."
He said the case was affected by Dimambro's admission to harming Damian, but also when he made a bad joke about Damian being dead a week prior to the incident.
"Who in the hell would make a statement like that," he said.
Rodnick said the niece's testimony was "devastating" as well, as she said DiMambro had mistreated Damian while his mother wasn't there by slapping him around.
Rodnick had suggested to the court that the injuries leading to Damian's death could have been caused by his falling from a tall bar stool and phone book or tumbling down a flight of stairs in the days prior to the 911 call.
Spitz said the symptoms of the blunt-force trauma, such as labored breathing or altered consciousness, would've appeared within seconds or minutes of receiving the blows.