Coatesville Man Sentenced for Killing Infant Daughter Over a Video Game

Zion ShockleyZion Shockley (Image via Chester County District Attorney's Office)

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office announced that Zion Shockley, 22, of Coatesville, pled guilty to 3rd-degree murder, aggravated assault, and endangering the welfare of a child for the 2018 murder of his 5-month-old daughter. The defendant, angry over a derogatory comment during a video game, threw the infant in the air and violently shook her. Judge Patrick Carmody sentenced him to 31-62 years in prison.

DA Deb Ryan said, “The trauma inflicted on this 5-month-old child is unfathomable, especially given it was her father’s rage over a video game that caused it. No child should ever have to endure what this baby did. Judge Carmody’s sentence, hopefully, brings peace and justice to the mother and family of the victim.”

On February 10, 2018, Coatesville City Police responded to a residence on Harmony Street, Coatesville, for the report of a 5-month-old infant in cardiac arrest. The victim was rushed to Brandywine Hospital before being transferred in critical condition to Nemours/AI DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington. The victim was pronounced dead on February 12.

The victim’s mother told investigators that on February 9, she took the child for a weekend visit with the defendant, the child’s father, who was staying at his grandparents’ house. The mother said she video chatted with the defendant later that night and could see the victim resting comfortably.

Investigators learned that the defendant was playing an online video game on February 10 when another player disparaged his game-playing skills. Angered, the defendant picked up the victim, threw her in the air, and then shook her violently for a minute.

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The defendant did not seek help when he realized the victim was not breathing. The defendant’s father found the non-responsive victim later.

Investigators discovered a similar incident had happened six weeks before the victim’s death. At that time, the defendant became angry after losing a video game and violently shook the victim for five minutes.

Coatesville City Police and Chester County Detectives handled the investigation. DDA Erin O’Brien was the prosecutor.

Call Childline at 1-800-932-0313 if you suspect a child is being abused. Learn to recognize, react, report child sexual abuse by taking a free virtual Stewards of Children workshop. Contact County Coordinator Katie Walters at [email protected] or 610-344-6115 for more info.

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