TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Homicide charge held against Vandergrift man accused of shaking infant

About Jodi Weigand
Matthew Milisits

By Jodi Weigand

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 1:38 p.m.

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

Most-Read AlleKiski Valley

  1. Fire destroys Frazer home; family was out at the time
  2. Coxcomb Hill Road reopened; Kerr Road still closed in Plum
  3. Avonmore parents enter child with genetic disorder in contest for wheelchair-accessible van
  4. New Kensington police decline to identify stabbing victims amid investigation
  5. 4-year-old’s death from brain cancer won’t stop fight in her name
  6. Allegheny Township supervisors agree to rezone land for farming
  7. Lower Burrell hires officer from Arnold
  8. Cheswick fire truck to arrive in June
  9. New Kensington-Arnold lays groundwork for consolidation
  10. Former Apollo police Chief Breznican scheduled for release from Armstrong County Jail
  11. Apollo proposes wide-ranging ordinance on rental properties
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.