Man pleads guilty in 7-week-old baby's beating death

Posted at 6:02 PM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 18:05:48-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A Boone County man was convicted Wednesday of beating his girlfriend's 7-week-old son to death in 2015, according to a news release from Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Cody Phelps, 23, claimed in November 2015 he had been changing the baby's diaper when the child simply stopped breathing. Days later, an autopsy revealed the child's skull was badly fractured and he had in fact died of severe head trauma. 

"We're devastated,” the baby's great-grandmother, Lynn Smallwood, said then of the death. “Our hearts are broke. I can't talk, OK? Please. I'm sorry.”

Phelps pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of first-degree manslaughter and first-degree criminal abuse. He could spend up to 20 years in prison.