DETROIT (AP/WWJ) – A judge has given a 3- to 15-year prison sentence to a father of two small boys who died when a fire started after he left them home alone in on Detroit’s northwest side.

Wayne County Circuit Judge Cythnia Gray Hathaway issued the sentence Tuesday for 37-year-old Kevin Washington. He pleaded guilty earlier to two counts of involuntary manslaughter for failing to supervise 4-year-old Damien Washington and 1-year-old Mekhi Williams.

Authorities say firefighters found the boys in a bedroom as the house, on Prairie Street, east of Livernois,  burned on Dec. 6.

“Small children and babies require constant, constant attention. At a moment’s notice, when you’re not paying attention to the children, something tragic can happen,” said Judge Hathaway “We have a lifelong heartache situation.”

Washington says he left his sons for only 10 minutes, and that he tried to run into the house to save them when he realized what was happening.

“Everybody threw me down. Nobody would let me get close,” Washington  said.

At the time of the tragedy, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said that kids left home alone have been “glorified and celebrated” in movies; and this case is example of the real consequences of children left unsupervised.

Involuntary manslaughter carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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