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Couple sentenced in death of 6-month-old son

Posted at 1:36 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-16 11:47:25-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A Tucson couple accused in the death of their 6-month-old son last year have reached a plea agreement in the case.

In June, Zechariah McDonald pleaded guilty to manslaughter and child abuse while Tamara Fowler pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and child abuse.

McDonald received five years of prison for manslaughter, with 612 days credit. He also received 15 years of probation after he is released from prison for a child abuse count.

Fowler received concurrent sentences of 15 years of probation for negligent homicide and child abuse.

The two originally faced first-degree murder charges.

McDonald and Fowler were arrested in February 2018 after their baby was found dead.

McDonald told Tucson police he put the baby in a playpen so he could nap.

When the child began crying, McDonald allegedly placed multiple blankets over the boy to muffle the noise.

McDonald woke up several hours later and found the baby unresponsive.

Police say Fowler allegedly knew McDonald had previously put items like blankets over their son to muffle his cries.