SAN DIEGO — A San Diego sailor who pleaded guilty to child abuse charges in connection with the death of his 3-month-old stepdaughter was sentenced Tuesday to 21 years in prison.
Steven Davinger, 29, admitted in October that he “willfully inflicted unjustifiable pain” on his daughter Aziya and agreed to the prison term. He pleaded guilty to four counts of felony child abuse.
An autopsy showed that Aziya suffered broken ribs, a broken arm and broken leg between September and October 2009, a prosecutor said. She died Oct. 13, 2009, of staph and bone infections brought on by her injuries.
Her death was ruled a homicide.
Both Davinger and the baby’s mother, Sara Davinger, were charged in connection with the child’s death. A daytime caregiver, Thomas Stevenson, also was charged.
Stevenson and Sara Davinger each pleaded guilty to one count of felony child abuse. They have not yet been sentenced.
The Davingers, both of whom were on active duty in the Navy, were arrested last March at the San Diego Naval Base at 32nd Street. They lived with roommates, including Stevenson, in a three-bedroom home in Serra Mesa.
Stevenson took care of the baby while the Davingers were at work.
According to court documents, Stevenson called 911 on Oct. 13, 2009, about 1:40 p.m. and said he had just found Aziya dead in her bedroom. When paramedics arrived, they found the infant’s body seated in an infant swing. Her body was cold and stiff.
Officers saw a large abrasion on one side of the Aziya’s face. People in the home said she got the injury when she tried to crawl on her stomach on the carpet, but doctors said that was untrue because of her age and lack of mobility.
Investigators learned later that Steven Davinger had been “rough” with the child at times, wrapped her body too tightly in a blanket and had force fed her with a bottle, according to the documents.