News Flash

District Attorney

Posted on: April 8, 2022

Murderer of Three-Year Sean Arnold Sentenced to Life in Prison

Sean Arnold, Age 3

Sonora, California - Today, District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke announced that Brett Wozynski, formerly of Tuolumne City and Jamestown, was sentenced today by the Honorable Kevin M. Seibert to fifteen-years-to-life in prison for murdering three-year-old Sean Arnold in September 2018. 

On September 16, 2018, Wozynski was watching Sean while his girlfriend - Sean's mother - worked. Fire and ambulance responded to the home that they shared and found Sean had suffered a severe head trauma. Several first responders found the circumstances of Sean's injuries suspicious because he had a lack of external injuries that failed to correspond to the severity of his condition.  Sean was medi-flighted to UC Davis where was later declared brain dead and removed from life support on September 19, 2018. 

A lengthy investigation ensued where the forensic pathologist found that Sean suffered five separate strikes to his head with a hand or fist, which caused a severe brain bleed. Wozynski provided a statement to investigators that was unsupported and inconsistent with the forensic evidence. He was arrested in 2019 and pled guilty on February 8, 2022 to second-degree murder. A child abuse causing death charge was dismissed for that plea. This ensured that Wozynski waived his right to appeal his conviction, giving the family and our community assurance that his conviction could not be overturned. 

Unfortunately, under current sentencing laws and CDCR permanent and emergency credit regulations that justify giving life-term inmates - including murderers - conduct credits, Wozynski may be eligible for his first parole hearing after serving only 10 years as he was sentenced with 647 days actual credit. At the sentencing hearing today, Sean's family vowed to attend each parole hearing. Our Office will be there with him. They are to be celebrated for their commitment and dedication to Sean. 

Special thanks goes out to the following people for their tireless dedication to investigating this case and bringing Justice to Sean and his family: Tuolumne County Child Welfare Services' Deputy Director Cori Allen (now Agency Director of Calaveras County Health and Human Services) and Program Manager (now Deputy Director) Michelle Clark, Tuolumne County Detective (now Sergeant) Richard Donaldson, Sacramento County Forensic Pathologist Dr. Jason Tovar, and Tuolumne County Deputy District Attorney (retired) Harold Nutt. This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter and District Attorney Cassandra Jenecke. 

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you believe that a child is suffering from abuse, we urge you to report it to Child Welfare Services during working hours at 209-533-5717 or after hours at 209-533-4357, or, for immediate dangers, please call 911. 

For more information, please call (209) 588-5450. 


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