A South Roxana man has been sentenced to 38 years in prison for the death of his girlfriend's son. Authorities say 34 year old Sean Starwalt struck four year old Jeremiah Bradford causing internal injuries that lead to his death. The boy's mother, Patricia Cage, is also facing a murder charge for not taking action to help her son.
Patricia Cage is facing charges because prosecutors say she did not take action to protect her son from abuse at the hands of Starwalt, and also did not seek medical attention for her son the night he was fatally injured. Police responded to the report of help needed along Route 3 at 143 on September 25, 2010 when they found the couple with the boy. At the time, the couple claimed the boy fell and were on their way to the hospital. Following an investigation, authorities discovered Starwalt was alone with the child and was trying to play video games, but then struck the boy because he said the child was getting in the way. As the child lay suffering inside the couples apartment, Cage returned and Starwalt told her the boy hurt himself after jumping off the couch. It was not until the next day, after prosecutors say the boy lost half his blood overnight, that the couple tried to take him to the hospital. Starwalt must serve his full sentence. The case against Cage is pending and she is being held in the Madison County Jail.