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Update: Charlottesville Man Convicted of Felony Child Endangerment Will Go Home

Posted: Updated: Sep 19, 2017 11:47 AM
Marchella Alexander, Sr. talking to NBC29 (FILE) Marchella Alexander, Sr. talking to NBC29 (FILE)
Karen Monique Barnes Karen Monique Barnes
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A Charlottesville father convicted in connection to the death of his child is learning his punishment.

At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, September 5, a judge suspended a five-year sentence for 30-year-old Marchella Alexander, Sr. With this, he must remain drug and alcohol-free.

Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to felony child endangerment.

Prosecutors say Alexander was under the influence of drugs and alcohol the night he was caring for his son when the child died at a home on Garrett Street.

Although the autopsy on the child was inconclusive, social workers had ordered Alexander to not be home alone with his son.

In court on Tuesday, the baby's mother told the judge her husband has taken responsibility for what happened and carries the burden for the rest of his life.

In court, Alexander apologized to the community and his family.

As part of his sentence, Alexander is not allowed unapproved, unsupervised contact with children under the age of two.

The judge settled on this sentence, saying his decision came "in light of the changes" Alexander has made in his life and the fact that he's lost his own child.

"Having the certainty of the felony conviction has real value," said Elizabeth Killeen, the Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney. "It has real value for the community. It has real value in the defendant pleading guilty - saying I'm pleading guilty because I did this. It has value in terms of the family moving forward."

The prosecutor on this case says justice is served.

Karen Barnes, who was supposed to be in charge of the child's care that night, is also charged in the case.

She is set for trial on a charge of child abuse coming up October 5.