North Wildwood, NJ, Man Imprisoned for Toddler’s Death Freed After 10 Years
A North Wildwood man who admitted to shoving a 3-year-old's head against a refrigerator, causing the boy's skull to fracture, was released from prison on Saturday, seven months early and after only ten years served for the crime.
In 2012, Charles Kane pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the 2010 death of Elijah Ulbrich.
Kane was originally charged with first-degree murder for the death, which happened in his home while he was babysitting the child.
At the time, Cape May County prosecutors said the boy's mother had left her child with the man while she ran some errands. Kane told the court he was upset that the boy had wet his pants and he pushed the child against the refrigerator door.
Elijah died in the hospital on March 17, 2010, three weeks after the incident.
Kane agreed to plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter, with a reduced sentence of which he would have to serve 85%, then five years of parole supervision.
Because of the plea deal, the 47-year-old was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2012 instead of 30 years if he had been convicted of murder.
Kane was expected to be released in November, but because of early release rules due to COVID-19 outbreaks in NJ prisons, his release was fast-tracked.
The boy's parents, Richard and Christina Ulbrich, had opposed the plea deal at the time of sentencing and said they were "disgusted" with Kane's early release.
The couple who had lived in Cape May County moved to Las Vegas several years ago to put some distance between themselves and the scene of their son's death.