Preble County, Ohio Prosecutor's OfficeMartin P. Votel, Prosecuting Attorney

Christy Warwick Senteced to Nine-Year Prison Term

Published on November 30th, 2016


Christy Warwick, age 41, was sentenced by the Preble County Court of Common Pleas to Nine (9) years in prison in the death of her toddler son, Sylas Warwick.

On November 30, 2016, Christy Warwick, 41, was sentenced to nine (9) years in prison for “Involuntary Manslaughter”, a felony of the first degree, and “Endangering Children”, a felony of the third degree in the death of her toddler son Sylas Warwick. Warwick had previously entered pleas of guilty to the charges.

On December 13, 2015, Warwick called 911 reporting that her 21-month-old Sylas was vomiting and unresponsive. Sylas was taken by ambulance to the Preble County Emergency Room and was later flown by Care-Flight to Dayton Children’s Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office concluded that the child had died from blunt force trauma to the head. Among other injuries noted by Children’s Hospital Medical staff were multiple bruises and burns, multiple fractures in various stages of healing, malnutrition, and massive trauma to the child’s mouth, including missing teeth.
When questioned, Warwick confessed she was a stay-at-home mother and was the primary care-giver for the child. She claimed no knowledge of the fractures and could give no explanation for them. Warwick likewise could give no explanation for the child’s other injuries other than offering that the child had been hitting himself with his ”sippy cup” and banging his head on things. Warwick admitted that she had never taken the child to the doctor despite observing that he appeared “skinny” and despite his alleged unusual behavior. Dr. Lori Roediger of Dayton Children’s, a child advocacy physician who examined Sylas, concluded that Sylas had endured physical maltreatment and was malnourished at the time of his death.

The State of Ohio was represented by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Valerie Sargent-Eckert and Prosecuting Attorney Martin P. Votel. The defendant was represented by local attorney Brian Muenchenbach. Preble County Common Pleas Court Judge David Abruzzo presided over the case and imposed the nine-year prison term at sentencing.

Prosecuting Attorney Martin P. Votel: The evidence in this case established that Sylas was grossly malnourished at the time of his death, and that he had suffered serious physical injuries over a period time as a result of physical maltreatment in the home. A massive blow – or blows – to Sylas’ head caused his brain to bleed and swell, and this ultimately caused his death.

At the time of the 911 call, two other adults and three juveniles lived in the home with Warwick and

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Sylas. All parties were questioned by the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, and all parties denied any knowledge of the child’s injuries. With no confession, and with multiple parties having access to the child during the period of time in question, the State of Ohio had insufficient evidence to procure a murder indictment in this case. The “Involuntary Manslaughter” charge recognizes that this defendant, as the child’s mother, and had a duty of care and a duty to protect and support Sylas. Whether she inflicted the injury herself, or whether she permitted others in the home to abuse the child and/or failed to seek proper medical treatment in a timely fashion, she is criminally responsible for Sylas’ death under law.

This is a heart-breaking case for this community, for those who knew and loved Sylas, and for those of us who worked on this case in the Prosecutor’s Office. But there is a measure of solice to be taken in the fact that a good and moral community such as ours will always seek to protect and find justice for its most vulnerable members.