Dad DIJOHN WASHINGTON has been arrested for hitting and choking his 16-month-old son. Dad has pleaded not guilty. But the child's stepmother says she saw Dad choke the child "until he went limp." The child arrived at the hospital with multiple bruises, a laceration to the chin, and serious head injuries (three subdural hematomas). Apparently Dad was pissed because the child "wouldn't stop crying."
So where is the child's mom in all this? Did Dad have custody, visitation, what? And who gave him access to this child?
Father of injured 16-month-old pleads not guilty to battery charges
Published: 7/14/2009 Updated: 7/14/2009
By RODNEY HART
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy man accused of hitting and choking his 16-month-old son pleaded not guilty Tuesday to aggravated battery of a child charges and had a motion to reduce bond denied.
DiJohn Washington, 32, was arrested July 4 after the child was treated for severe head and body injuries at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, and later at a St. Louis hospital.
Washington's court-appointed attorney, Holly Henze, entered a not guilty plea on her client's behalf. Judge Scott Walden then scheduled a September jury trial for Washington, who is lodged in the Adams County Jail on $200,000 bond.
Washington faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the Class X felony.
Henze asked for a bond reduction to $50,000, but after First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha gave factual basis for the case, Walden denied the motion.
Farha said medical evidence would show the child had lacerations of the chin and head, and was unresponsive when brought to the hospital. The condition of the child now was not revealed.
Farha said doctors would testify the injuries were "non-accidental." Washington's wife and the child's stepmother would testify Washington choked the child "until he went limp" because he wouldn't stop crying, Farha said.
Further testimony would show Washington slapped the child until it fell into the crib and lacerated his chin, Farha said. A 10-year-old son of the stepmother would also testify to several instances of abuse, he said.
Investigators say Blessing Hospital staff called police July 4 in reference to a male infant with serious head injuries being brought in for treatment. The baby suffered three subdural hematomas to the head, a laceration to the chin and multiple bruises to his body.