CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A 17-year-old from Williamsville will serve an indeterminate sentence of three to nine years in prison after shaking his infant son to death last Fall.
Two-month-old Bradley Fagan was shaken by his father Michael Fiorentino on October 24. The boy died from his brain injuries in the hospital a few days later. Following the baby’s death, Fiorentino fled to Texas, but later returned to Western New York to surrender himself after a warrant was put out for his arrest.
He was charged with 2nd degree manslaughter and in March, he pleaded guilty to killing the baby.
In court Friday, Fiorentino’s lawyer had requested he been sentenced as a youthful offender, but Judge John Michalski told the admitted criminal his “criminal conduct was so selfish and calloused” that youthful offender status would not be appropriate.
Michalski noted that Fiorentino put little Bradley back in his crib after shaking him and went back to bed himself rather than seeking medical attention for the infant. Michalski told Fiorentino he “had options” and should have sought assistance from the other adults in the house.
Fiorentino was living with his son’s mother and her family in a house on Meadow Place in Cheektowaga when he shook the baby.
The baby’s mother’s family did not appear at Fiorentino’s sentencing Friday, nor did they submit any written statements to the court ahead of the hearing. As prosecutor Christopher Belling said, reliving the incident taking part in the process would have been a “step backwards” in their healing.
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael Flaherty, Jr. said Judge Michalski made the right call in handing down the sentence he did, calling the case “sad all around”.
“With regard to the sentencing, these are the cases which really test a judge’s ability, because you have the sympathy factor for a helpless child who suffers a pretty gruesome death, being having his brain scrambled really, shaken to death. But the offender is just a kid himself. Had a child far too young, but the judge made a reasoned ruling that even thought the offender was a very young man, almost a boy, that he needs to be held accountable for this grievous mistake, this grievous action that he took which caused another child’s death,” Flaherty said.
Fiortentino’s attorney told the court the young man was a good student, who was involved in athletics and was working nearly full time.
Fiorentino had been free on bail before his sentencing Friday morning. He, his family, and his lawyer declined to comment.