Greenfield father receives maximum sentence in murder of 1-year-old daughter

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Matthew Wagoner

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 24, 2016)– The father of a 1-year-old Greenfield girl who died in May 2015 was sentenced Wednesday for her murder.

Matthew Wagoner was sentenced to 67.5 years, the maximum sentence, in the Department of Corrections. His sentence was 65 years for the murder charge and 2.5 years for neglect charges. Those 2.5 years will be suspended and served on probation.

Indiana’s sentencing laws dictate Wagoner will be eligible for release in December 2064, or 48.75 years from Wednesday.

Wagoner was found guilty in January on charges of murder and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

The child’s mother, Jessica Wagoner, entered a guilty plea earlier this month and will be sentenced on March 2.

The parents originally said the baby fell off a bed, but officials found baby Zoey died from blunt force trauma. Documents show the baby had a broken arm and a lacerated liver. A pathologist said that means the baby could’ve been stomped on.

An investigator wrote in court documents that Zoey “lived in hell for a year,” because of all the injuries she suffered. Those documents say first responders found the baby foaming at the mouth with bruises all over her body.

In their initial June 2015 court appearances, they tried to pin the murder on each other.

Matthew said he saw Jessica smack and punch the baby. Jessica said Matthew is to blame, and brought up child exploitation charges against him in Henry County.

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