Olathe man guilty in infant son’s death

An Olathe man pleaded no contest and was found guilty this morning in the January 2011 death of his infant son.

Aaron M. Snyder, 26, was scheduled to go to trial today in Johnson County District Court on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of 3-week-old Logan Snyder.

Instead he pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless second-degree murder. A sentence of 10 years in prison will be recommended jointly by Assistant District Attorney Chris McMullin and defense attorney Paul Cramm.

Snyder will be given credit for the time he has served in jail since his arrest shortly after the baby’s death and will also be able to earn up to 15 percent off the sentence for good behavior in prison, Cramm said.

District Judge John Bennett scheduled sentencing for May 14.

According to testimony presented by McMullin at a preliminary hearing last July, Logan suffered trauma to his head that was consistent with a baby being shaken. The baby’s mother had testified at the preliminary hearing that Snyder told her he had become frustrated because the baby would not stop crying and that he “shook him a little.”

A doctor who performed an autopsy on Logan testified at the hearing that he believed the baby had also been thrown after being shaken.

Cramm said Monday after the plea that the defense had expert medical witnesses lined up to testify at trial to refute the findings of the state’s medical experts, but that Snyder choose to accept the plea deal rather than risk being convicted of first-degree felony murder which carries a minimum sentence of 20 years with no parole eligibility.

The judge accepted the no contest plea today and found Snyder guilty based on that previous testimony and evidence.