A Montgomery County judge sentenced a West Carrollton man convicted of killing a 6-week-old baby to the maximum sentence possible, noting that the coroner determined the child suffered so many blows to the head that they couldn’t be counted.
Charles F. Pulley III, 19, was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison for the August 2020 death of his girlfriend’s 6-week-old daughter, Averi Grabans. Pulley was convicted on May 26 in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court of two counts of murder, one count each of felonious assault and involuntary manslaughter and two counts of endangering children.
“You were the only person that was with her for hours, yet you continue to blame everybody else,” Montgomery County Judge Mary Katherine Huffman said. “I don’t know if you can’t accept the fact that you killed a baby. I’ll never know.”
Pulley didn’t speak during the hearing. He also refused to sign paperwork provided to him by the court after he was explained his rights and obligations after being convicted of a violent crime.
Authorities say Pulley was babysitting Averi on Aug. 19 while her mother was at work. When she picked up her daughter, she noticed bruising on the baby’s head, which Pulley said was caused by a car seat, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The next day while Pulley was babysitting, he called the infant’s mother to say the child was acting strangely, and they took her to Dayton Children’s Hospital. She died three days later of her injuries.
Averi’s mother and grandparents spoke during the sentencing. They said that they trusted Pulley and he betrayed them. Averi’s mother said that she distances herself from other babies and fears having another child because of what happened. The family said in court that they loved Averi, cherish the memories they made during her short time alive and feel Pulley shouldn’t ever be allowed out of prison.
Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger previously said the infant died of blunt force trauma to the head, and that she suffered a skull fracture, hemorrhages and contusions on her head.
Huffman said the child suffered “absolutely global head injuries.”
“The evidence was so overwhelming, sir, I have been in this job for 20 years, I have never seen injuries to a child that were so horrific,” she said.
She also said Pulley hasn’t taken responsibility.
“Yet you continue to sit here and shake your head like you’re mad at the world like it’s everybody’s fault,” Huffman said. “You robbed that family of a precious little life, but you robbed her of any possibility of life.”