FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne man received a 20-year prison sentence Friday in connection to the death of a child whose heart was ripped in two last year, according to Allen Superior Court documents.
Shaquille S. Rowe, 29, had previously pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while acting “under sudden heat” in the May 17, 2021 beating death of 17-month-old Aiden M. Clark.
Charges of murder, aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent against Rowe were dropped as part of the plea agreement with Allen County Prosecutors.
Police were called about a child taken from a home in the 2700 block of Millbrook Drive, in the Brookmill Courts Apartments complex, to an area hospital in critical condition. The child died at the hospital, according to court documents.
Medics who treated the toddler found bruising around his neck and chest possibly related to “some type of abuse,” the affidavit said. An autopsy later found the child suffered a fractured sternum and that his “heart was ripped in half,” court documents said.
The child suffered blunt force trauma to his left midsection, a lacerated spleen and hemorrhaging around his left kidney and pancreas, court documents said. He died two to five minutes after suffering his injuries.
Rowe told investigators he was in the shower when he heard crying the day Aiden Clark died, according to a probable cause affidavit. When he got out of the shower he found the child not breathing, he told investigators in court documents.
He then began CPR, Rowe said.
Rowe was the only adult at the home with the child.
Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull sentenced him to 30 years in prison, with 10 of those years suspended and gave him 451 days for time served, as per the plea agreement.