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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Rocky Mount man to serve 30 years for murder of 3-month-old boy
Infant died of head injury in Roanoke hospital
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Xavier Juan Rasado Craighead

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

A Rocky Mount man will serve 30 years of a 40-year sentence for the murder of a 3-month-old boy in May 2013.

Xavier Juan Rasado Craighead, 21, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in April.

On Monday, Franklin County Circuit Court Judge W.N. Alexander II ignored a sentencing recommendation of 21 years, saying the guidelines were too lenient in this case.

"A child is dead, and you did it," Alexander told Craighead. "What you did is almost unspeakable. You crushed the head of a baby."

"You were mad at his mother, doing cocaine and probably irritated by his crying," Alexander added. "This was a senseless crime."

Craighead was also sentenced to 10 years probation during which time his contact with children will be restricted. He was also ordered to be of good behavior for life.

At the end of Monday's sentencing hearing, Craighead read a prepared statement, apologizing to the baby's mother.

"I am sorry for my actions," he said. "I will never be able to pay for my crime.... I am going to prison for a long time.... I deserve it."

Craighead was indicted in September 2013, on one count of second-degree murder, one count of felony child abuse and one count of felony child neglect.

Through a plea agreement, the abuse and neglect charges were dismissed in April.

On May 4, 2013, the mother of the infant called a rescue squad to her Windy Lane residence to transport the child to the hospital, according to Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Allen.

The mother was not home at the time of the incident, Allen said. Craighead was her boyfriend who was babysitting the infant.

At first, Craighead said he did not know how the child was injured, but he later confessed that he had been using cocaine and marijuana and that he grabbed the baby and slammed him on the ground. Craighead admitted that he lost his temper because the baby would not stop crying.

The infant died at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital on May 19, 2013, of subdural hemorrhaging, caused by a fractured skull, according to the autopsy report.

A forensic anthropologist also examined the bones and found several rib fractures, some of which had already started to heal while others were more recent, Allen said.

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