A verdict has been reached in the trial that began Monday for the former Sailor charged with murdering a 4-month-old girl in Virginia Beach.
A jury has found 22-year-old Micah Patterson guilty of first degree murder, second degree murder, object sexual penetration and child abuse and neglect.
A judge has recommended life in prison for the first degree murder charge, 20 years for the second degree murder charge, 30 years for object sexual penetration, and 10 years for the child abuse and neglect.
Circuit Court Judge Edward W. Hanson Jr., who presided over the four-day trial, will formally sentence Patterson on November 6, 2013.
Being convicted of both first and second degree murder is contrary to the law, so at Patterson’s formal sentencing, the second degree murder charge will be vacated.
Patterson was accused of killing and sexually assaulting his girlfriend’s baby last January.
Baby Aubrey was found with eight broken ribs, thumb prints on her hips, marks around her neck, swelling of the brain, and bruising around her anus.
Dr. Michelle Clayton, a child abuse pediatrician from CHKD, told the court she was violently shaken, causing abusive head trauma, and strangled hours before she died.
Officials found that Patterson had searched “shaken baby syndrome” and other things related to it on Google.
Baby Aubrey’s grandmother thanked the jury for bringing justice. She said Aubrey would be two-years-old now and that the guilty verdict is a great birthday gift.
Both Aubrey’s mother and grandmother have received treatment for PTSD following her death.
Patterson’s parents also spoke, saying they stand behind their son and love him. They say they never had any problems with him and he was always a happy child growing up. His dad, James Patterson, says Micah served 3-4 deployments and was very proud. He also said Micah had just received a promotion to third class petty officer before what happened.