Judge: 25 years in prison for man who killed 3-year-old daughter

Virginia Beach Circuit Court Photo by Adrienne Mayfield
Virginia Beach Circuit Court
Photo by Adrienne Mayfield

A Virginia Beach man will spend 25 years in prison for killing his 3-year-old daughter when he became frustrated while home alone with her.

Alton Thomas Chavis Jr., 30, was sentenced to 40 years in prison with 15 years suspended by Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr. in Virginia Beach Circuit Court on Wednesday, according to a release issued by the city’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office. The sentence exceeded the high end of the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines, which was 21 years and four months.

Chavis accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on March 28.

Chavis’ daughter Camber died on May 8, 2015 from blunt-force head injuries sustained when Chavis became frustrated with her while they were home alone the day before, the release states.

Chavis dropped Camber in a bathtub, where she hit her head on a shower faucet. He also picked her up and dropped her on the floor several times and held a pillow over her face until she stopped moving, according to the release.

The three-year-old had a seizure, and Chavis asked his wife to come home from work. The pair took their daughter to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital, where she was transported to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, the release states.

Camber was diagnosed with a skull fracture, hemorrhaging and bruises.

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Adrienne Mayfield is an award-winning, multi-media journalist hailing from Clermont, Fla. She moved to Lynchburg, Va. on a whim when she was 19, and worked her way to Hampton Roads in 2013. Adrienne is passionate about telling people stories via covering public safety and the judicial system. She isn’t afraid to take a heads-on approach to covering crime, including knocking on doors to get the details police aren’t sharing. Adrienne is a 2014 Old Dominion University graduate who still lives within walking distance of the college. You may see her cruising around Downtown Norfolk on her bike, enjoying a sandwich from Grilled Cheese Bistro or playing fetch with her dog, Greta, at the Colonial Place dog park.