WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - Joey Grizzell, charged with the February 2013 murder of his girlfriend's 13-month-old son, was sentenced to 16 years on Monday after pleading guilty to manslaughter in August.
Grizzell was arrested in September 2013 after an autopsy, required by state law on children under the age of 2, came back. The results showed the toddler had been violently shaken and suffered blunt force trauma to the head. Grizzell was babysitting the child at the time of his death.
The plea agreement was less than the capital murder charge Grizzell was facing.
In February, Grizzell's attorneys were in court trying to convince a judge to suppress a statement he made to authorities shortly after being arrested. Exact details of the statement were not released, but the suppression request was denied by a judge who said Grizzell had been advised of his Miranda rights before making the statement.
Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin told media shortly following the arrest that Grizzell had opened up about the incident since he's been behind bars, explaining a situation where he allegedly snapped. "His mindset, what he was dealing with that day and the child, obviously it's commonplace for a child to be upset and cry. His explanation is going to steer that direction," the sheriff said.