LANCASTER – A Lancaster woman pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in connection with her 7-month-old son’s death in November 2018.
Anaiyah Alise Perry, now 25, also pleaded guilty to four felony counts of child abuse involving the boy, according to Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami.
Perry is facing 21 years and four months in state prison, the prosecutor said. She is set to be sentenced Sept. 29 at the Lancaster courthouse. She was arrested in September 2019 by Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives and has remained behind bars in lieu of $2 million bail since then. Perry was initially charged with murder and assault on a child causing death involving her young son, Royal Marshall. Those charges are expected to be dismissed as a result of her plea, in which she waived her right to file an appeal involving the case.
At an April 2021 hearing in which Perry was ordered to stand trial, a neighbor, Dustin Stober, testified that the boy’s father rushed over to his house holding his son and pleading for help on Nov. 6, 2018. The military veteran said he began CPR on the baby as his wife called 911. He said the boy’s father was “visibly upset” and “crying,” while Perry seemed to be very deadpan. The baby was rushed to Antelope Valley Hospital and subsequently airlifted to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he died the next day.
Dr. Matthew Miller, who performed an autopsy on the boy, testified at the April 2021 hearing that he determined the baby had died from blunt force neck trauma, with the manner of death determined to be a homicide.
Dr. Carol Berkowitz, a board-certified child abuse pediatrician, testified in 2021 that she reviewed records from the case and concluded that it was her opinion that the boy was subjected to a “shaking motion” near the time of his death, not 10 to 14 days earlier. Perry initially denied shaking the baby, then later acknowledged that she had lightly shaken him about a week and a half earlier while gently rocking him back and forth, sheriff’s investigators testified at the 2021 hearing.
Perry has been ordered not to have any contact with her older son, whom the prosecutor said has permanently been removed from Perry’s custody.
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