Hit-and-run driver gets 4 years in baby's death

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indianapolis man was sentenced to prison this week for a hit-and-run that caused the death of a 6-month-old boy.

Gary Shinnamon, 30, was sentenced to four years in prison and one year on work release for reckless homicide in the death of 6-month-old Yeshua Shafford. Shinnamon will also have to serve three years of probation after his prison sentence ends.

The charges stem from a crash on March 4, when police say Shinnamon was driving his car 91 miles-an-hour on West 38th Street. According to police, Shinnamon bumped into the rear of a car driven by Warren Shafford, causing it to spin and crash.

Six-month-old Yeshua was ejected from the back seat of the vehicle and landed under a guard rail. His father ran to find him, and instead encountered Shinnamon.

"I talked to the guy," Shafford said. "He told me he didn't do it. It was somebody else. He pointed out another guy at the scene and then he ran. He is a coward. I wish it was more time, but it's not."

Yeshua's mother Kashica Whitfield said she hoped Shinnamon would have gotten more time.

"I'm satisfied. I don't feel good about it," Whitfield said. "I wish he could have got life. But unfortunately, that's not what the law allowed."

Shinnamon was limited to a maximum of five years in prison by the terms of his plea agreement, but there are safeguards in the probation requirements.

"During that probation term he will be on alcohol monitoring," said Deputy Prosecutor Tom Hirschauer. "The judge made it clear that if he uses alcohol he will serve the rest of his sentence in the Department of Corrections."

Prosecutors said Shinnamon was already on probation for a prior drunk driving case at the time of this latest offense.

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