Friday, May 20, 2011

Tucson man convicted of child abuse in death of newborn


By Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Thursday, March 4, 2010 2:17 pm


A Tucson man accused of starving his newborn baby to death was acquitted of first-degree murder Thursday and was convicted of reckless child abuse, a probation-eligible offense.

Scott Sullivan's daughter, Kimberlie, was born on July 14, 2008, weighing 7 pounds, 12 ounces and died Aug. 30, 2008, weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces.

Her mother, Terri Sullivan, 27, pleaded guilty to child abuse and first-degree murder and is now serving a life sentence with parole possible after 25 years.

The jury found that Sullivan's wife was responsible for the child's death.

Defense attorney Dan Cooper said he told jurors the evidence showed Scott Sullivan, 28, was oblivious to Kimberlie's declining health because he was rarely home and when he was, he was exhausted.

Scott Sullivan was working two jobs much of the summer of 2008 and often had to walk 20 miles roundtrip to work because his vehicle was broken down, Cooper said.

Scott Sullivan counted on his wife to care for the baby and their three other children while he was working, Cooper said.

His client's family testified Scott Sullivan was a shy, reserved man who was married to a bossy, domineering and forceful woman, Cooper said.

Terri Sullivan told a probation officer she was having an affair with an 18-year-old man that summer and smoking marijuana daily, court documents indicate.

On Aug. 30, 2008, Terri Sullivan called 911 saying she found Kimberlie in her swing and she wasn't breathing. When paramedics arrived, they found Scott Sullivan performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. They took over CPR but declared the emaciated baby dead a short time later.

The couple's three other children now live with Scott Sullivan's parents.

Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or

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