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Cedar City man gets up to 15 years for killing child

Thomas Canum Courtesy Iron County Jail

By Mark Havnes

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published May 01 2012 11:53AM
Updated May 1, 2012 11:45PM

Cedar City • A 25-year-old Cedar City man was sentenced Tuesday to 1 to 15 years in prison for the shaking death of his girlfriend’s son.

Thomas Canum was convicted by a jury of the Sept. 28, 2010 death of his live-in girlfriend’s 14-month-old son, Cayden Lasseter, at the apartment the couple shared in Cedar City. Witnesses who testified at the trial said Canum claimed the child was injured by a fall from a couch.

During Tuesday’s sentencing, Cayden’s grandfather, Daniel Gricius, told the court it will take time to forgive Canum. He said the family has been through a "serious hardship" since the boy’s death and that Canum shattered his dream of having a grandson.

Cayden’s grandmother, Sherrie Slack, told 5th District Judge G. Michael Westfall that she wonders if her grandson would still be alive if she had left work early that day and picked up the child. She admonished Canum for not admitting immediately that he shook the baby, saying he might have been lived if he received medical treatment earlier.

"I will never forgive you," Slack said.

An emotional and shackled Canum apologized to the child’s mother, Molly Gricius, before Westfall passed the maximum sentence.

"I am truly sorry I caused so much pain and grief," Canum said. He also apologized for not showing remorse earlier.

After court, Molly Gricius said she was pleased with the sentence. "I’m glad he won’t be walking free."

Her father, Daniel Gricius, said he was pleased that Canum finally expressed remorse. He said that the family was getting by all right but that "you can never replace a child."

Chris Lasseter, the victim’s father, said he was disappointed Canum was not convicted on the original first-degree felony charge but said the sentencing allowed some closure.

"It’s been a hard, tough road," he said.

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