Darwin Costello was just 4 months old when he died of massive injuries, including skull fractures, internal bleeding, bruising, a fractured spinal cord, retinal hemorrhaging, and a fractured elbow. Now the man convicted of killing him, his own father, is walking free. Ryan Costello was sentenced to 30 years in prison for killing his baby, but he has walked out after just five months.
Got that? There's a baby killer on the loose, and this isn't one of those OMG, prison escapee, alert the media kind of situations. The state of Florida actually just let this guy go free. Why?
Because Ryan Costello is appealing the manslaughter conviction. So they're letting him live with his mom during the appeal.
Gee, a guy who was serving 30 years in prison says he didn't do it? Where have we heard that before? Oh, right, from just about every single person who has ever been sent to prison, ever.
Maybe Costello's appeal will be successful, folks, but a jury convicted him of multiple felonies here -- not just manslaughter but one count of Neglect of a Child Causing Great Bodily Harm, one count of Tampering With Evidence, and two counts of Neglect of a Child Without Great Bodily Harm. After beating his 4-month-old child to the brink of death, prosecutors told the jury that Costello rushed him to the hospital, handed him to a nurse, and then went home! He didn't even stay with the little guy!
When cops got to his house to find out what was going on, they found out he'd left an older child, a toddler, alone when he did his hospital run, and oh, yes, by the way, he had a marijuana grow house.
The guy doesn't exactly scream solid, upstanding citizen even without that pesky manslaughter conviction.
Letting a convicted felon go free just because he's appealing is not something that happens often, and for good reason: appealing is something any criminal can do. It doesn't mean they're innocent. It just means they are exercising their legal right to appeal. If we let every guy out of jail for his appeal, the jails would be empty.
But what's especially horrifying here is the vicious nature of the crime Costello was convicted of committing. A jury found him GUILTY of beating an innocent 4-month-old to death.
Let's just assume that the first jury got it right here; he is, after all, a convicted man. That means there's a violent criminal who has literally been let out of prison for awhile.
That's not fair to little Darwin. But it's also not fair to society at large. What happens if Ryan Costello explodes again?
What do you think should be done here? Should this convicted felon be at home or in jail?
Image via Associated Fabrication/Flickr