Lexington County man convicted of Homicide by Child Abuse in death of his daughter
Lexington, SC (Paul Kirby) – Friday, Solicitor Rick Hubbard of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit announced that David Lance Steadman, age 27, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole for his role in the death of his daughter, Lilly Lopez, who was 4 at the time she died. Circuit Court Judge Eugene C. Griffith, Jr. sentenced Steadman after a trial this week in Lexington County. The charges leveled against him were Homicide by Child Abuse. The jury returned a verdict of guilty after the five day trial.
On the evening of July 31, 2017, the Lexington County 911 Center received a call for help from David Steadman's home on Nazareth Road. First responders found Lilly unresponsive on the living room floor and they began CPR. Lilly was pronounced dead after arriving at the Lexington Medical Center.
Because of the child's death, the coroner’s office became involved. Afterward, an investigation by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department determined evidence of child abuse and neglect. Another person was also charged in the case.
Evidence presented at trial included statements that were made by Steadman to investigators over the course of several weeks. He provided information to law enforcement officers that confirmed child neglect had occurred. Steadman stated that when he arrived home from work the day Lilly died, he saw her taped to a bed. He even gave a written statement that he observed his daughter in medical distress and failed to provide any medical care for her.
Steadman also provided statements admitting that there was a significant delay in calling 911 once he realized how serious his daughter’s health had deteriorated. He said that after Lilly was untaped from the bed, he put her into the shower while she was in medical distress. He then left the bathroom and watched Netflix on his phone in another room.
Evidence recovered from Steadman’s phone by CSI Detective Mike Phipps confirmed that Steadman was watching Netflix beginning around 8:25 pm. The 911 call was received at 9:05 p.m. from another adult, not Steadman.
The case was prosecuted by Eleventh Circuit Deputy Solicitor Suzanne Mayes and Assistant Solicitor Robby McNair. Steadman is being transferred to the S.C. Department of Corrections to begin immediate service of his sentence.