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Former Fort Drum soldier sentenced to 21 years in death of infant

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CANTON — A former Fort Drum soldier was sentenced Monday in St. Lawrence County Court to more than two decades in prison for killing his ex-fiancee’s infant last summer.

Gary L. McKenzie II, 23, of 154 Hailesboro St., Apt. 26, Gouverneur, was sentenced to 21 years after his May 27 guilty plea to one count of first-degree manslaughter, a class B violent felony.

McKenzie’s admission to the July 16, 2013, death of 7-month-old Braylin W. Chambers came as part of a plea deal that satisfied all charges against him and prevented him from facing life in prison.

McKenzie originally was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, reckless assault of a child and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all felonies, and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

He was baby-sitting Braylin at his home, which he shared with the baby’s mother, Savanna Goble, and became frustrated with the child, he told County Judge Jerome J. Richards at the time of the plea.

At 1:59 that morning, he said, he threw the child in a bouncy seat where the child then struck his head against a wall, causing an inoperable brain injury and hemorrhaging that resulted in the baby’s death later that day.

In addition to his prison sentence, McKenzie was sentenced to five years of post-release supervision.

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