A man who served less than four years in prison for killing one of his infant sons and assaulting two others now is a suspect in the death of another little boy.
Kenneth Galloway, 27, is wanted for questioning by Spokane police in the death of 2-year-old Devon Erb on Tuesday.
Police said Galloway was baby-sitting his girlfriend’s toddler at her Browne’s Addition apartment. When the woman, Sara Erb, returned shortly after 7 p.m., Galloway was gone and her son was unconscious.
Galloway left a note in the one-bedroom unit on West Pacific, but police refused to disclose its contents. A pile of prescription pill bottles also was found in the bathroom sink.
The child was taken to Deaconess Medical Center, where he later died. An autopsy is scheduled for today, but police Sgt. Jim Lundgren said there was “apparent trauma” to the toddler’s body.
A car that Galloway was believed to be driving was found abandoned at 11:40 a.m. Wednesday about 10 miles north of Reardan in Lincoln County. It appeared to have been in a minor accident, but there was no evidence that Galloway had been injured, Spokane police said.
Someone matching Galloway’s description was seen a short time later on foot north of the accident scene, police said.
Pierce County records show Galloway was convicted in 1990 of first-degree manslaughter of his 39-day-old son and two counts of seconddegree assault for fracturing the ribs of his 6-month-old twin boys.
Erb met Galloway at the Cornelius House Work Release Center, where she works as an intern. Fellow employees said Galloway told her he was finishing up a sentence for killing a man in a bar fight.
Erb never questioned Galloway’s past and eventually allowed him to move in with her and her son, co-workers said.
In the summer of 1988, Galloway brought his unconscious infant son to the Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis, where he was stationed.
Doctors believed the baby had been severely shaken, which caused the coma, but a medical examiner was unable to determine a cause of death.
Just over a year later, Galloway’s wife, Faith, went to the hospital with the couple’s 6-month-old twin boys. She told doctors one of the boys, Darrian, had fallen off a couch while Galloway was baby-sitting.
Doctors found fractures on three of the baby’s ribs and an older fracture on his forearm.
The other twin, Darrius, also had an old fracture on his right rib that had never been treated.
Galloway told doctors he dropped Darrius while taking a shower with him and that the other boy fell to the floor when he was tossing the child in the air and catching him.
Detectives were called to the hospital and quickly reopened the investigation into the first child’s death.
A month later, they arrested Galloway after he admitted that he violently shook his 2-month-old to death.
He pleaded guilty in 1990 to manslaughter and assault and was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison.
In 1993, he was transferred from Walla Walla to the Airway Heights Corrections Center, where he later was enrolled in a work release program at Cornelius House.
Galloway finished his sentence in September of last year, but was required to attend parenting and anger management classes.
It is unclear whether he started those sessions.
“He always behaved himself and checked in when he was supposed to,” said Rich Hewson, a spokesman for the Airway Heights Corrections Center.
Erb could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but her apartment manager said she called to have him change the locks on her unit.
“I don’t think she plans on coming back any time soon,” Jared Ribic said. “She didn’t know about (Galloway’s history) until today and she’s pretty upset.”
Ribic, who manages the Capitana Apartments, 1825 W. Pacific, said he followed the paramedics to Erb’s unit when they showed up about 7:30 p.m.
The baby “wasn’t bruised or bleeding,” Ribic said, but he heard paramedics mention a possible skull fracture.
“There’s never been a problem in her apartment before,” he said. “She’s probably one of the quietest people we’ve got” in the 10-unit building.
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Kenneth Galloway, 27, has a history of abusing children: June 1988. He violently shakes his 39-day-old son, killing him. December 1989. He is arrested after his 6-month-old twins are brought to a hospital with fractured ribs. He also confesses to the earlier killing. April 1995. Less than six months after his release from the prison system, he is a suspect in the death of Spokane 2-year-old Devon Erb. Galloway is black, 5 foot 11 inches tall and weighs 210 pounds. Police believe he is driving a 1982 Datsun 280Z with Washington license plates 479 FEB. Anyone with information on Galloway is asked to call Crime Check at 456-2233 or the Major Crimes Unit at 625-4210.