Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Micah Patterson, 24 years old, who previously resided in the 1100 block of Ocean Trace Lane in Virginia Beach, was formally sentenced by Judge Edward W. Hanson, Jr. to Life plus 40 years for First Degree Murder, Object Sexual Penetration, and Child Abuse/Neglect. A jury found the defendant guilty after a four-day trial on August 16, 2013.
The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on August 16, 2011, Aubrey Hannsz was born and began to live with her single mother and maternal grandparents in the City of Virginia Beach. Shortly after Aubrey’s birth, her mother met and began dating Micah Patterson. In early January 2012, Aubrey and her mother moved into Patterson’s apartment near the Oceanfront area of Virginia Beach. Aubrey was a healthy baby, and her mother was diligent in taking her to the pediatrician for routine visits. Upon moving in with Patterson, 4-month-old Aubrey began to get sick within days.
Patterson was babysitting Aubrey alone for the first time while Aubrey’s mother worked the evening of January 8, 2012, and for a period in the morning on January 10, 2012. Aubrey began vomiting on the morning of January 10th. Aubrey’s mother was concerned about her condition and called the pediatrician. Patterson again babysat Aubrey while her mother went to the store to get medicine. While she was gone, Patterson called 911 to report that Aubrey was limp, blue, vomiting, and struggling to breathe. Patterson’s demeanor was very calm during the 911 call, despite the fact that the baby was unresponsive.
Emergency personnel and Virginia Beach police officers responded to the apartment. Aubrey was transported to Virginia Beach General Hospital then transferred to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters due to the severity of her condition. On January 11, 2012, Aubrey was taken off life support and succumbed to her injuries. Examinations and an autopsy revealed that Aubrey suffered fractured ribs, ligature marks around her neck, swelling and hemorrhaging of the brain, bruising of the anus, and bruising of the pelvis and abdomen.
During the trial, jurors heard evidence that Patterson had a fascination with anal sex, and had conducted Google searches for terms such as, “shaken baby syndrome,” “brain hemorrhage,” and “increased penalties for shaken baby syndrome.” Doctors testified that the injuries Aubrey sustained would have had to occur during the time periods when Patterson was alone babysitting Aubrey.
“Tragically, in the past three years, this office has prosecuted 12 defendants charged with child abuse that resulted in death of the victim,” Bryant said.
The case was prosecuted by Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Philip C. Hollowell and Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Kristin L. Paulding. Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.