Homicide charge held against Vandergrift man accused of shaking infant
Homicide and other charges were held for court Tuesday against a Vandergrift man accused of shaking his infant daughter so hard that she suffered fatal brain damage.
Matthew Milisits, 30, of Sherman Avenue, remains in the Westmoreland County jail. He is charged with homicide, aggravated and simple assault, endangering the welfare of children and reckless endangerment.
Police said Milisits admitted to “violently” shaking 2-month-old Sophia Ludwiczak to get her to stop crying.
The baby was declared brain dead and taken off life support four days after the Nov. 15 incident.
At Tuesday's preliminary hearing, a Westmoreland County prosecutor called a physician who examined Sophia at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the state police officer who questioned Milisits, according to Milisits' lawyer, Duke George Jr.
“And that was the substance of the case,” George said. “They didn't present any evidence that it was my client who was responsible. We also made the argument that there was no evidence of intent to inflict bodily harm or injury.”
Milisits was held for trial by Allegheny Township-based District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec.
According to court records, Milisits was alone with the girl for several hours that day. He told police he covered the infant with blankets in a car seat for the ride back to North Apollo, where her mother, Samantha Ludwiczak, lives. When he uncovered the child, she gasped twice and stopped breathing, according to police reports.
The infant was not breathing when paramedics arrived at Ludwiczak's home and she was flown to Children's.
An autopsy determined that Sophia died from lack of oxygen to the brain caused by head injury.
His formal arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 23 in Westmoreland County Court.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Wax weed’ worries authorities
- Freeport VFW initiates its ‘monumental project’
- Pyrotechnics display turns from benefit to burden in Tarentum
- State store relocates to Highlands Mall
- Vandergrift man accused of sexual assault
- New Kensington dedicates fireworks festivities to longtime coordinator
- Bridge dedicated to mark completion of Butler-Freeport Community Trail
- Saxonburg residents surprised by zoning proposal
- Brackenridge gets $98K federal grant to fund waterline project
- Man who threatened to jump from Tarentum Bridge in custody
- Giant puppets turn heads at South Butler library