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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Man given 40 years, 3 suspended in 3-month-old daughter’s death

Bryan Timothy Arruda (Courtesy VPRJ)
Bryan Timothy Arruda (Courtesy VPRJ

A 28-year-old James City County man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for killing his 3-month-old daughter last year.

Bryan Timothy Arruda, of James City County, was sentenced Monday to 40 years in prison with three years suspended in the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court, according to online court records.

Arruda entered an Alford plea April 30 in connection with the April 29, 2017 death of his daughter, Emery Alaine Arruda.

In an Alford plea, a defendant maintains their innocence but admits prosecutors have enough evidence to prove they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to a criminal complaint, Arruda was home alone with his daughter on April 28, 2017 when she was injured.

Emergency responders were called to the home in the 7600 block of Crestview Drive at 3:21 p.m., James City County Police said.

When officers arrived, Arruda told them his daughter had been in a bouncy chair on top of a coffee table when she fell from the table. He told police he went to the bathroom and came out to find her crying, a criminal complaint states.

Arruda said he picked up the baby and attempted to feed her, but she did not eat and became unresponsive.

The 3-month-old was taken to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center in Richmond, where hospital staff discovered the baby had multiple skull fractures and blood clots were forming in her skull, documents state.

The baby died the following day.

Child abuse physician Robin Foster said she found evidence of blunt force trauma injuries, indicating child abuse, and that the injuries were not consistent with the fall Arruda described, the complaint states.

Foster added the fractures on the skull were consistent with a crushed skull, meaning the fractures extended across the forehead and into the orbital rim.

On April 29, the day the baby died, Arruda told police again that his daughter had fallen from the bouncy chair, but added he had consumed “up to” six beers the day she was injured.

A Department of Forensic Science report dated June 16 shows Arruda’s blood tested positive for ethanol and cocaine/benzoylecgonine.

WYDaily archives were used in this story.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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