LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A Lancaster mother on Friday was sentenced to 21 years and four months in connection with the 2018 death of her 7-month-old son.
Anaiyah Alise Perry, who initially had been charged with murder and assault on a child causing death, received the sentence after she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter as part of a plea deal.
She had also pleaded guilty to four felony child-abuse counts involving the same child, Royal Marshall, by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
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 boy suffered head and neck injuries and was airlifted to Children's Hospital Los Angeles after sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call in the 44000 block of Moccasin Place. The infant died the next day, according to prosecutors.
Perry was arrested on Sept. 11, 2019, by L.A. County sheriff's detectives.
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.
Before the plea deal, Perry had faced the possibility of a lifetime prison sentence if convicted as charged.
City News Service contributed to this report.