APPLE VALLEY, Minn. — An Eagan man accused of fatally beating his girlfriend’s foster child after having to change the boy’s diaper was sentenced Tuesday, Aug. 13, to 25 years in prison.
Charles Wayne Homich, 28, was sentenced by a judge in connection with the 2017 death of 3-year-old Zayden Lawson. Zayden was a foster child in the care of Homich’s girlfriend, Zeporia Dionn Fortenberry of Eagan.
A Dakota County grand jury in December indicted Homich on four counts of first-degree murder and two counts second-degree murder. In April, he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder (commission of a felony-malicious punishment of a child).
In June, Fortenberry, 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to three years and five months in prison.
Fortenberry's babysitter told investigators that Fortenberry regularly asked (the babysitter) to care for the kids while she was at work because “she did not trust Homich with Lawson,” and that “Homich would ‘lose his cool’ if he had to change Lawson’s dirty diaper,” according to the criminal complaint against Homich.
An autopsy revealed evidence of blunt-force trauma injuries to the boy.