Former Miramar-based Marine sentenced to 11 years in prison for death of infant daughter

VISTA (KUSI) – A former Miramar-based Marine convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the death of his infant daughter was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years in state prison.

Lee Trahan, 28, was also convicted in February of assault on a child causing death. He received probation on that count.

Trahan's wife, Jessica, was convicted of misdemeanor child abuse in connection with the events that led up to her daughter Willow's 2012 death. She was sentenced in April to probation and ordered to do 200 hours of volunteer work.

On April 24, 2012, Lee Trahan said that while he was holding Willow to feed her, she started rolling out of his grasp. He said he took a small step forward and he and the baby ran into a door frame. 

Trahan and his wife decided against taking the baby to a hospital and three days later, she stopped breathing and was rushed to a medical center where she died 10 days later.

A deputy medical examiner testified that the child died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Defense attorney Brian J. White described Trahan as a loving father to his twins and his wife's daughter from a previous relationship. 

White claimed the death of Willow could have been the result of medical personnel failing to insert a breathing tube into her throat, depriving her of oxygen for several minutes.

Deputy District Attorney Michelle Laleggio said the frustration of caring for twins who were born premature took its toll on the couple. As a result, the prosecutor said, they made "huge parenting mistakes.''

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