Crime

Auburn father to spend 14.5 years in prison for death of baby girl

By Amy Clancy

KIRO-TV

Lee Mason Dupay of Auburn will spend more than 14 years in prison for the negligent death of his infant daughter, Royale.
Lee Mason Dupay of Auburn will spend more than 14 years in prison for the negligent death of his infant daughter, Royale. KIRO-TV

Lee Mason Dupay of Auburn will spend more than 14 years in prison for the negligent death of his infant daughter, Royale.

The 4-month-old died of severe malnourishment and dehydration.  When her body was found in June of 2016, she also had broken ribs and other injuries.

In January, Dupay pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.  The baby’s mother, 26-year-old Mariah Leshay Phillips, faces trial in June.

On Friday, the 35-year-old Dupay apologized.  

“The death of my daughter, Royale, was a tragic accident,” he told King County Superior Court Judge David Keenan.  “It was not done intentionally.”

However, Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kathleen Van Olst argued the couple had plenty of food and baby formula in their Auburn apartment the day Royale’s body was found after the parents called 911.  

Van Olst said Dupay demonstrated his capacity to provide for his 2-year-old twin daughters with Phillips, “but he did not do so for Royale.”  Dupay also has two older daughters who were not living in the home at the time.

Dupay was represented by attorneys Jesse Dubow and Josephine Wiggs-Martin of King County’s Northwest Defenders Division.  Both said Dupay suffered from undiagnosed mental illness during the time of Royale’s death.  They asked the judge to impose a sentence of seven years, half of what prosecutors requested.

“Lee was not well,” Wiggs-Martin told the court.  “He was experiencing an undiagnosed mental illness that was in a declining state.”

The prosecutors blamed Dupay’s methamphetamine use, in part, for his instability, and Judge Keenan agreed with their 14.5-year sentencing recommendation.

Since being arrested for his daughter’s murder, Dupay has been charged with a new crime.  According to court documents, he allegedly assaulted a fellow inmate at the King County Jail for “running his mouth telling everybody that Dupay had killed his baby.”

Dupay is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charge next week. 

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