Md. father pleads guilty to killing adopted son

WASHINGTON — A Damascus, Maryland, father is awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty Monday to killing his 3-year-old adopted son.

Brian O’Callaghan, a former Marine who served in Iraq, admitted his guilt in front of Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge John Debelius, who ordered O’Callaghan held without bond until he is sentenced in April.

O’Callaghan faces up to 40 years in prison for the charge of child abuse resulting in death. Prosecutors agreed to drop the more serious count of first-degree murder as part of a plea deal.

In February 2014, court documents say O’Callaghan brought his recently adopted son, Hyunsu, to Children’s National Medical Center where the boy died two days later from blunt force injuries, court documents say.

“This troubling case is coming to a resolution with Mr. O’Callaghan’s plea today. He has taken responsibility for his actions in the shocking and unfathomable death of an innocent toddler. We look forward to a stiff sentence in April,” said Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, in a statement.

In court documents, doctors who treated Hyunsu noted that the boy was suffering from a fractured skull and internal bleeding and listed him in critical condition.

O’Callaghan told Montgomery County police at the time that the boy fell backward in the shower and hit his shoulder. But O’Callaghan couldn’t account for the boy’s injuries, the documents say.

O’Callaghan, who has worked for the National Security Agency, and his wife, Jennifer, adopted Hyunsu from South Korea three months before he was killed.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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