Christopher Manchester said he "just lost control" the morning he shook his 3-month-old son until the child went into a seizure.
Patrick Manchester had just been released from the hospital where he was being treated for spinal meningitis. On Dec. 29, 1993, his mother was sleeping in another room, when Christopher Manchester got tired of the baby crying."That morning he was irritable," Manchester said Friday morning at his parole hearing. "I was tired. I'd been working nights and didn't get much sleep. I couldn't get him to quit crying."
Manchester shook his son, hitting his head on the arm of the couch, until the child quit crying. The infant began having a seizure, and the young couple took him to the doctor. The next day Patrick Manchester died at Primary Children's Medical Center.
The baby's mother told board Chairman Mike Sibbett that she forgives her boyfriend for killing her son.
"I forgive Chris for what he done, due to the fact of what we were going through at the time," Priscilla Rojas said Friday morning. "I forgive him, but I also need him."
She asked Sibbett to parole Manchester so he could help her deal with the loss of her son.
"I want him to come home and help me through this," she said. "I just want him home."
Manchester was originally charged with murder, a first-degree felony, but pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of manslaughter, a second-degree felony. The sentencing judge sentenced him as if it were a third-degree felony, for which the maximum penalty is five years in prison.
"I hope you're not anticipating an early release," Sibbett said. "Because I'm not going to recommend ."
He took the case under advisement and told Manchester he'd be notified in the next two weeks of the board's decision.