Heil – facing 25 to life
GOSHEN – Middletown resident Michael Heil was found guilty on Thursday of killing his seven-week-old son. When sentenced in November, he will face up to 25 years to life in prison.
Heil, 27, was convicted of two counts of murder and two counts of manslaughter in the death of Zachary Heil. The verdict followed a three-week jury trial before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown.
District Attorney David Hoovler said the prosecution presented a solid case against Heil.
“I believe the jury accepted the facts as we presented them,” Hoovler said. “In a case like this, a healthy baby boy does not die of catastrophic head injuries unless someone causes them, and in this case, it was his father unfortunately.”
Assistant DA’s Jason Rosenwasser and Janine Kovacs presented evidence that on August 7, 2016, Heil slammed, severely shook, or threw the baby. The evidence indicated that Heil subjected the baby to traumatic head injuries while the child’s mother was at work. Prosecutors had established through electronic and social media evidence, Heil’s growing pattern of frustration over the victim’s constant crying because of colic.
The child survived for about two weeks on life support before dying.
“There can be no more innocent a victim than an infant, and no greater crime than a father killing his own baby,” said Hoovler.