RICHFIELD — A Sevier County father has pleaded guilty to child abuse homicide in the death of his baby daughter, who officials say died of dehydration and neglect.
David Lewis Anderson, 38, of Monroe, admitted to the second-degree felony charge as part of a deal with prosecutors June 13. In exchange for his plea, a charge of violating a protective order, a third-degree felony, was dismissed.
Anderson was arrested in August, more than two months after his daughter's death. A medical examiner said Siri Alexis Anderson — who died June 7, 2016, just one day short of her first birthday — succumbed to dehydration suffered in the deplorable conditions in her father's home.
Anderson was Siri's sole guardian in the weeks before her death, court documents say.
According to the charges, Anderson had stopped giving his daughter fluids, claiming he was transitioning her off of fluids to solid foods. The deprivation was combined with high June temperatures in the week leading up to her death, further dehydrating the girl, charges state.
Court documents describe Anderson's home, 1080 N. Meadow Lark Lane, as unsanitary and neglected.
"The home (reeked) of the smell of urine and of cigarette smoke. It was dirty and unkept," the charges state. "Unwashed dishes with food remnants and flies occupied the kitchen. A child's card table was located in the dining area and still had the dried remnants of meals past stuck to it."
Siri's crib, which was collected for evidence, was described in the same way.
"In a bedroom with a door labeled 'Siri,' we discovered a child's playpen/crib with multiple blankets and a full size pillow on it," charges state. "The bedding smelled strongly of urine to the point that it was as pungent as the odor of vinegar. Flies were buzzing on the damp bedding."
The temperature in the home was also between 90 and 95 degrees.
Anderson and Siri's mother had both filed restraining orders against each other in the past year, court records show. Two weeks after Siri died, the mother filed for a protective order against Anderson, but the order was dismissed when she failed to show up in court a month later, according to court documents.
However, Anderson was charged on July 1 with violating that protective order. The charge was dismissed last week as part of his plea deal.
Siri's mother took a plea in abeyance in March 2016 to attempted aggravated assault after court documents say she threatened Anderson with a knife. In light of the charge, the Sevier County Sheriff's Office said Anderson had sole custody of Siri in the three months prior to her death.
Sentencing for Anderson is scheduled for July 25.