Oklahoma man convicted in daughter’s drowning death claimed was baptizing her

An Oklahoma was convicted of child abuse resulting in the death of his daughter after he held her underwater for about 30 seconds during what he said was a "baptism."

An Oklahoma man could be sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of child abuse that resulted in the death of his daughter.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Devin Warren Sizemore, 28, of McAlester was charged and convicted in the drowning death of his 21-month-old daughter.

Devin Warren Sizemore Mugshot

Devin Warren Sizemore booking photo (Oklahoma Department of Corrections)

Sizemore was estranged from the child’s mother when he took his daughter for a visit.

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But when the toddler was not returned to her mother, law enforcement officials were notified, and a search commenced.

Officers found Sizemore at a barn near a pond, and when they confronted him, they noticed the girl was in the pond, face down.

police car with flashing lights

The roof of a police patrol car at night, with the blue and red lights flashing. (iStock)

Sizemore told police he held her underwater for about 30 seconds as he “baptized” her that day.

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Ultimately, he was convicted of child abuse resulting in death and manslaughter.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma and the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division oversaw the case because Sizemore and his daughter are members of a federally recognized Indian tribe.

The crimes also took place on the Choctaw Nation Reservation in Pittsburg County.

If convicted, Sizemore could be sentenced to a maximum term of life in prison for the child abuse resulting in death, and up to 15 years for voluntary manslaughter.

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A federal judge will determine Sizemore’s sentence at a later date.

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