YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — An Austintown man charged with killing his 1-month-old son pleaded guilty Monday to a charge of murder in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Nicholas Tigges, 34, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison by Judge Anthony D’Apolito.
Under Ohio law, that is the only sentence a person convicted of murder can receive.
Charges of aggravated murder, felonious assault and child endangering were dropped in exchange for his plea.
Tigges was accused of causing head injuries to his son that resulted in his death on April 25 at the main campus of Akron Children’s Hospital. The Summit County Coroner ruled in June the baby’s death was a homicide.
Tigges declined to speak before he was sentenced. His attorney, Ryhs Cartwright Jones, called the injuries that led to the baby’s death a one-time “spontaneous, horrifying event.”
Assistant Prosecutor Caitlyn Andrews said Tigges was changing diapers for the baby and his twin sister but the victim would not stop crying.
She said Tigges “snapped,” and hit the baby’s head off a table. The baby suffered several skull fractures, Andrews said.
Judge D’Apolito told Tigges there is not much that can be said to someone who takes the life of their own child.
“If that doesn’t cause you nightmares and regret the rest of your life, there’s something wrong with you,” Judge D’Apolito said.
Tigges will receive credit for 326 days served in the Mahoning County Jail awaiting the disposition of his case.