Man sentenced for fatally shaking ‘fussing’ newborn son

A man who fatally shook his 7-day-old son because he was frustrated with the “fussing” child was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Nelson gave 22-year-old Joshua Sullivan the sentence, which was above his standard range. The prosecution and defense recommended the sentence, as part of negotiations.

Joshua Sullivan Jr. had severe head trauma and internal bleeding when he was brought to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in May 2013 in Tacoma. The child died from the injuries seven months later.

Sullivan pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year for the infant’s death. He told investigators he became frustrated with the “fussing” child, and the baby’s injuries were determined to be from shaking.

“I’m very sorry for what happened,” he told the court at sentencing.

Family members appeared to be present, but declined to speak with The News Tribune outside court.

Before his son died, Sullivan was sentenced for assault, for the infant’s injuries. Then prosecutors charged him with murder, after the child died.

The assault case was dismissed as part of the murder sentencing.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell