Baby killer silent and yawning during sentencing

Posted at: 10/25/2012 11:48 AM
Updated at: 10/25/2012 5:36 PM
By: WNYT Staff

TROY - Robert Hayden spent portions of his sentencing in Rensselaer County Court Thursday yawning and fidgeting.  No visible signs of grief.  Unlike the parents of his young victim, 21 month old Avery Cahn.

"There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about Avery, there are many sleepless nights," said Avery's mom, Shannon Pozniakas, through tears.

"As a Christian, God tells me to forgive you.  But as the father of a child who was murdered in cold blood, I will never forgive you," declared Avery's father, Matt Cahn.

It's not unusual for the defendant to be cuffed, shackled and dressed in prison garb.  But Avery's father also was during Thursday's sentencing.  He was arrested after a fight with the toddler's mother--who addressed her son's dad in her victim impact statement.

"No parent should ever have to bury a child.  This isn't the way the circle of life is supposed to be," stated Pozniakas.

Last January, when Robert Hayden was babysitting Avery, the Troy man admitted to putting his hand over the child's mouth because he wouldn't stop crying.  According to police, Hayden claims he attempted CPR for two hours but still didn't call 911.

"I suffer though the thought of what was going through my son's mind during the last moments of his life while you suffocated him.  I can't imagine how terrified he must have been," said Cahn angrily.

Hayden's deposition also indicates that after leaving Avery in his crib, he exited the apartment, traded his grandmother's rosary beads for drugs and then smoked pot with a neighbor in Troy.

"We shouldn't have to resort to remembering Avery in pictures and memories.  We miss Avery very much.  There is a deep void in our heart now and there are no words to describe the depth of my emotional pain," added Pozniakas.

Hayden was sentenced to the max for manslaughter--25 years in prison.