Crime

Jury finds boyfriend guilty of lesser charge in death of 4-year-old boy

Trevor Cardarelle appeared before Circuit Judge Peter Dubensky via video link at the Manatee County Jail on Friday, Apr. 24, 2015 for a first appearance hearing.
Trevor Cardarelle appeared before Circuit Judge Peter Dubensky via video link at the Manatee County Jail on Friday, Apr. 24, 2015 for a first appearance hearing. Bradenton Herald file photo

The boyfriend of Alexander Marr’s mother was sentenced to 60 days in jail Friday after being found guilty of a lesser charge in the 4-year-old’s death.

Alexander, who was beaten and left to die in his sleep, died on his fourth birthday.

After about three hours of deliberations, Trevor Cardarelle was found guilty by the jury of six of the lesser included charge of culpable negligence.

Cardarelle was immediately sentenced by Circuit Judge Hunter Carroll to the maximum penalty of 60 days jail for the second-degree misdemeanor and given credit for time served.

He is still being held without bond on additional charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and violation of probation he still faces. Those charges were continued for a separate trial scheduled to begin during week of Dec. 19.

Alexander’s body was found at about noon April 12, 2015, by Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies when they were called to the duplex in the 700 block of 59th Avenue Terrace West, where the boy lived with his mother, Dianna Marr, and her live-in boyfriend, Cardarelle, after a report of the boy being unresponsive.

The 4-year-old’s death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy found that Alexander had suffered traumatic injuries to his head and torso.

Cardarelle, 27, and Marr, 33, were each charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child by culpable negligence. Cardarelle had faced up to 30 years in prison.

On Friday morning, the jury heard closing arguments from both sides before being charged with rendering a verdict and began their deliberations at 12:15 p.m.

“This kid didn’t have to die,” Assistant State Attorney Garrett Franzen said in a passionate argument to the jury, pointing to a diagram of the injuries found on Alexander’s body. “He could have been saved, even after the beating, but he wasn’t given the chance.”

Franzen said the state had proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The defendant is at fault, not to say that Dianna isn’t also,” Franzen added.

The defense argued that Marr was the only one at fault.

“This child was brutally beaten,” Greg Lansky said. “But please don’t let the pictures let you look away from the other evidence.”

Marr is out of jail on a $15,000 bond as she awaits her trial, scheduled to begin Dec. 19.

Cardarelle has been held without bond at the Manatee County jail since he was first arrested April 12, 2015.

Jessica De Leon: 941-745-7049, @JDeLeon1012

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