TODD HEDRICK is your classic deadbeat dad--on probation and apparently unemployed for embezzling from a former employer. So naturally this makes him amply qualified to do infant care while the mom supports his lazy, thieving @$$. Except he can't manage to do that right either, not without battering his infant son. But as usual, everybody supports the daddy criminal and ignores the victim. Even though there is evidence that Daddy had battered the baby before (prior healing injuries), couldn't even stick to a consistent cover story, and waited till Mom got home to get the baby medical attemtion. Typical. Are we surprised that this POS till gets supervised visitation? And that's at the prosecutor's request! Just one year in jail and useless anger management. Massive daddy coddling....
Hetrick gets maximum sentence for child abuse.
By Don Reid
The Daily Reporter
Posted Jan 11, 2012 @ 08:00 AM
Coldwater, Mich. —
Showing Todd Hetrick pictures of his battered son, Branch County Circuit Court Judge Bill O’Grady sentenced the 22-year-old to the maximum allowed by Michigan Sentencing Guidelines — one year in the Branch County Jail. He must also serve five years probation.
The judge called the sentence “justice” for his then-four-month-old, who was injured while in the sole care of his father on Nov. 21, 2009 in Coldwater.
Friends and family filled the courtroom. Letters to the judge, showing support for the father, asked for a lenient sentence after his December 2011 no contest plea to third-degree child abuse, a two-year felony.
Branch County Prosecutor Terri Norris agreed to the reduced charge because “there is no explanation how this occurred” and she could not show intentional abuse.
Judge O’Grady acknowledged it is hard to explain how a son who grew up in a good environment could end up facing the abuse charge, as well as embezzlement from a former employer, Ballreich’s Potato Chip company.
“I am sorry for my actions,” Hetrick said. “I really love my son. I don’t want to miss much more of his life.”
Hetrick’s life “as an abuser or being dishonest doesn’t show to everyone else. But actions speak louder than words,” Judge O’Grady stated.
Prosecutor Norris wanted to make sure the father continued to have supervised visits with the boy, who is now under the supervision of the probate court.
Hetrick gave several explanations how the little boy was injured. He claimed the child hit his head while being put in a car seat. Hetrick told police the baby was startled from his sleep and “head-butted” the father. When confronted that would not cause the skull fracture, Hetrick claimed the baby struck his head when he lifted him from a bath.
Judge O’Grady was more blunt.
“Your child was beat. Science and medicine proved it. I saw the pictures.”
Doctors at Bronson Medical Center said the boy’s skull was fractured and his brain swollen.
“The trauma was astonishing,” the judge stated.
Hetrick waited four hours before the mother returned from work to take the child to the Community Health Center of Branch County Emergency Room. The baby also had a bloody nose and split lip.
Judge O’Grady also said the specialist at Bronson found prior injuries that were healing.
Defense attorney Robert Sharkey asked for tether or work release to allow Hetrick to work a vending company route for his father while he served his time.
The judge denied any special treatment. He suggested the only way to change so the families could heal.
“People want the truth,” Judge O’Grady said.
Norris said Hetrick has a history of poor choices. He was on probation for forgery in St Joseph when the abuse to his son occurred. Then, he embezzled over $1,000 from his employer while facing the child abuse charge. She suggested Hetrick has anger management problems and urged treatment.