Redding, Calif. – A northern California man entered a no contest plea for his “negligent behavior” that led to the death of his 4-month-old daughter.
According to a Redding Police Department investigation, 31-year-old Redding resident Carl Matthew Stivason was caring for his 4-month-old baby and her 2-year-old brother on the morning of March 13, 2017.
Police said Stivason became too intoxicated by controlled substances while caring for the children and passed out while holding his 4-month-old daughter in a recliner. The girl fell and became lodged between Stivason and the recliner cushion. The 2-year-old was left to wander the apartment without supervision, having access to drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Officers said Stivason’s wife tried calling him multiple times and sent over a neighbor to knock on the door. She eventually left work to check on Stivason and their children.
When she arrived at the residence, she found their infant face-down against the recliner armrest while in Stivason’s arms.
RPD said the mother immediately administered first aid to the child and called 911.
The 4-month-old was eventually transported to the hospital. During the investigation at the scene, officers were notified the baby had died.
The preliminary cause of death was determined to be positional asphyxiation.
According to prosecutors, Stivason admitted to using marijuana and methamphetamine before caring for the children.
Police said Stivason was arrested and charged with murder and child abuse. He was booked into the Shasta County Jail
The Shasta County District Attorney’s Office said on September 11, Stivason entered a plea of “no contest” to two counts of child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury or death. He also admitted to other special allegations related to the case.
Prosecutors said Stivason is set to be sentenced to 13 years in state prison on September 27.