LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A Lafayette man convicted in the death of his infant son is all too familiar with Child Protective Services.
Gabriel Hallman, 31, was sentenced for his Tippecanoe County conviction Friday but the state was also allowed to bring up several instances with some of his children in other parts of the state.
In court, Hallman said he's going to continue to fight this case until the day he dies. The mother of the victim isn't worried about that. She said she is just glad he'll be spending the next 39 years in prison.
"I'm not innocent," said Hallman to News 18 on his way out of the courtroom.
Then seconds later Hallman changed his statement, saying he's going to demand a retrial.
"I'm not guilty," said Hallman.
As the elevator closed, Hallman screamed an expletive about the family of the victim.
Tiphani Jennings, the mother of six month old Zachary who died in this case, said she's tired of Hallman's lies.
She said she believed him up until he was arrested for the crime.
She later got in touch with other families who say Hallman did the same thing to them.
"How does that make you feel?" asked News 18's Kayla Sullivan.
"A lot more horrible," said Jennings. "I mean, I wouldn't wish child death on anyone."
Turns out, Hallman had other children. He had a daughter, Mia, who Hallman said died from SIDS. However, a death certificate suggested possible asphyxiation for cause of death.
Mia's grandmother, Carol Woods attended the sentencing. She said she doesn't understand how charges weren't filed in Mia's case in South Bend.
"Like I said to the judge in my letter, Zachary was not the first child," said Woods. "Zachary was victim number three. And if he is let out, there will be victim number four."
Hallman's other son suffered brain damage while he was in Hallman's care in 2008. Child Protective Services thought it might have been an accident.
However, the state brought these instances up during his sentencing. They also listed his lengthy criminal record including a battery conviction.
Superior Court Judge Randy Williams took all of these facts into consideration during his decision.
"I loved the judge because I think the judge took into consideration what kind of person he really is," said Woods.
"It's not going to bring him back," added Jennings. "But I'm getting Gabriel locked up for the murder of my son, or the death of my son."
39 years is one more year than the state had recommended for Hallman. Judge Williams ordered Hallman to spend all of those years in the department of corrections.
He also granted Hallman the time he served in the Tippecanoe County Jail despite the fact he purposely flooded the jail by stuffing his jumpsuit in a toilet, exposed himself to a correctional officer, and got in a fight with an inmate.