Lexington man sentenced to 10 years in son's death

A Lexington man was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison for the death of his 2-year-old son in 2010.

Brandon Christopher Fraley, 25, pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to second-degree manslaughter and to a second-degree persistent felony offender charge.

Fraley was accused of killing Derek Jaxon Cooper on Aug. 22, 2010, by asphyxiating him. According to police, Fraley held his hand over the child's face to try to stop his son from crying.

Among the victim impact statements submitted to Fayette Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone was a letter from the boy's mother, Jessica Wall.

"The love and laughter that once surrounded our family has disappeared and in its place a heavy fog of despair has settled," Wall wrote.

Fraley read a handwritten letter in court before Judge Scorsone pronounced final sentence.

"I live with this tragedy every day," Fraley read. "... I live in anger with myself while grieving the loss of my only son.

"I can't turn back the hands of time and undo what has been done," Fraley continued. "I made a terrible mistake which resulted in a horrible tragedy which I have to live with every day of my life, and for that I want you to know that I am truly, from the bottom of my heart, sorry."

Fraley said he hoped that those he hurt "can find it in their heart to forgive me."

Prosecutors had recommended that Fraley serve five years in prison on the manslaughter charge. The sentence was enhanced to 10 years because of the persistent-offender charge.

Bing I. Bush Sr., Fraley's attorney, asked for probation for Fraley, but Scorsone said that would not be appropriate "in this horrible incident."

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