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Father sentenced to die in infant's death

RUSSELLVILLE (AP) — A Red Bay man was sentenced to die Monday in the death of his 3-week-old son in 2005.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Terry Dempsey handed down the sentence for 29-year-old Jodey Wayne Waldrop, who was convicted of capital murder Aug. 17 in the death of Jodey Jo "Chance" Waldrop.

During a sentencing hearing a few days after returning the guilty verdict, the jury voted 11 to 1 to recommend the death penalty.

According to courthouse records, Monday's sentence marks the first time the death penalty has been imposed in Franklin County since capital punishment was reinstated, the TimesDaily reported in a story Monday.

The baby died at a Birmingham hospital Sept. 25, 2005, three days after being found unconscious and not breathing inside the family's Red Bay home.

The state medical examiner who conducted the autopsy testified earlier that the baby died from being shaken or slammed against something. She ruled the death a homicide.

Waldrop told jurors in testimony in August that he accidentally dropped the baby while lighting a cigarette. Waldrop gave four different accounts of what happened, authorities said.

The baby's mother was away from the house at the time of the injury.

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Information from: TimesDaily, www.timesdaily.com/

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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