Convicted of abusing son, dad also gets 30 years for killing baby girl
WALL — A 26-year-old township man already in prison for abusing his toddler son has been sentenced to another three decades for killing his newborn daughter in the same incident.
Austin Meli was sentenced on Friday in Monmouth County Superior Court, after previously pleading guilty to first-degree aggravated manslaughter last winter.
When he finishes serving his 10-year term, he will begin the new sentence — of which he must serve 85% prior to being eligible for parole.
Baby girl was found unconscious
Meli’s six-week old baby girl was found unresponsive by Wall Township police in March 2019 and was pronounced dead at Ocean Medical Center in Brick.
Some of his actions on the day he abused both the infant and his 15-month-old son was captured on video surveillance cameras that Meli himself had installed in the room, according to police.
Mother provided the evidence
Secret recordings made by the baby's mother had Meli talking about suffocating the newborn before and after trying to feed her a bottle, until she ultimately lost consciousness, according to an Asbury Park Press report citing a 2020 court hearing.
Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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