Commonwealth v. Erico Gerard Sawyer; Father Severely Abuses Daughter Causing Permanent Injuries; Sentenced to 30 Years

Monday, May 18, 2015

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced that Erico Gerard Sawyer, 30 years old, formerly of the 2200 block of Acorn Cove in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge Glenn R. Croshaw for charges of Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Child Abuse/Neglect. Judge Croshaw sentenced Sawyer to 60 years in prison with 30 years suspended leaving 30 years to serve.  This sentence was above the high end of the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines which recommended a maximum sentence of 24 years and 5 months.

Sawyer was found guilty by Judge Croshaw on January 21, 2015 after a two-day trial. The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on September 1, 2013, Erico Sawyer picked up his 3-year-old daughter, Serenity, from where she was staying with her mother.  He brought Serenity to stay in his home in Virginia Beach overnight. Despite multiple phone calls from Serenity’s mother, Sawyer never brought Serenity back.  On September 18, 2013, the mother finally learned that Serenity had been in the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters (CHKD) since September 16. 


Serenity was suffering from several severe injuries that were determined to be the result of blunt force trauma inflicted by Sawyer.  Investigators with the Virginia Beach Police Department were able to determine that at the time of her injuries, Serenity was in the sole care of Sawyer.  Upon finding Serenity unconscious and in need of immediate medical care, Sawyer did not call 911.  Instead, Sawyer took the time to change Serenity’s clothes before driving her to the hospital.  Serenity remained in the hospital for over a month, undergoing multiple surgeries and procedures.  There was a high likelihood she would not survive.  She is still receiving occupational, speech, and physical therapies and will never be the same little girl.


Sawyer has prior convictions for Breaking and Entering and marijuana charges.


The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul J. Powers.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.