‘I stare at his pictures’: Mother gives emotional statement before Warren County man’s sentencing in son’s death

A Clearcreek Twp. man has admitted to fatally injuring his infant son and abusing his stepson.

Cody Colwell, 27, was in Warren County Common Pleas Court on Friday for what was scheduled to be a final hearing before his February trial, but he entered guilty pleas to amended charges.

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Colwell was indicted by a grand jury in the spring for murder, felonious assault, and two counts of endangering children following an investigation of the death of an infant, Cayden Colwell, who was found unresponsive in a Clearcreek Twp. home in April.

An examination after the baby’s death revealed Colwell’s three-year-old stepson also suffered multiple bruises to his body, according to prosecutors.

On Friday, Colwell pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for his son’s death and felony child endangering for the abuse to the toddler. Judge Timothy Tepe sentenced Colwell to the maximum sentence of 19 to 24 1/2 years in prison. That means he will have to serve the minimum of 19 years and can serve up to 24 1/2 years for any bad behavior in prison.

According to prosecutors, Colwell acted in sudden passion or in a fit of rage when he caused Cayden’s fatal head injuries. The 2-month-old died April 16, 2019 after being taken off life support at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

MORE: Trial set for Warren County father charged in death of baby, abuse of toddler

The courtroom was filled with family and friends of Cayden and the child’s mother, Jami Standifer Some wore T-shirts paying tribute to the infant.

Standifer told the judge about the pain of losing her son.

“I stare at his pictures multiple times a day, still unable to believe he is gone,” Standifer said. “His big brother still picks up his picture and says that his Cayden.”

The infant was buried two days before Easter, and Standifer says holidays are very hard for her and it is difficult for her to be around babies.

“When family comes around with their babies around the same age as him, it is extremely hard for me to be around because all I can think about is how he should be her right now,” Standifer said.

On some days, Standifer told the judge she still finds it difficult to pull herself out of bed, shower or eat.

“Even when I hear another baby cry, I have to walk away because all I can hear is him,” she said sobbing.

Colwell declined comment in court before sentencing, but outside in the hallway as he was escorted away with other prisoners, he said, “I love my son.”

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