Dad is identified as DWIGHT W. PIERCE. He was babysitting when this vicious assault took place.
January 30, 2012
Joplin father’s beating of baby draws prison term By Jeff Lehr
The Joplin Globe Mon Jan 30, 2012, 07:31 PM CST
JOPLIN, Mo. — A judge assessed a Joplin man 20 years in prison Monday for a violent beating of his 2-week-old son that left the baby with numerous broken bones and bleeding on his brain.
Circuit Judge Gayle Crane sentenced Dwight W. Pierce, 25, at a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court on a conviction for first-degree assault.
Pierce pleaded guilty Dec. 5 in a plea agreement limiting the prison time he might be assessed to no more than 20 years. He had faced from 10 to 30 years or up to life in prison if convicted in a trial.
Kimberly Fisher, assistant prosecutor, told the court at the hearing that almost two years after the crime was committed on Feb. 27, 2010, Pierce’s son remains confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk or crawl.
A probable-cause affidavit filed at the time stated that Pierce became upset with the baby’s crying, and punched the infant in his stomach, on a leg, in his lower and upper back, and on the back of his head.
“He then picked him up, twisted his head back and forth, and dropped him to the floor from a standing position,” the affidavit reads.
The document stated that the baby suffered skull fractures and bleeding on the brain. The blows also broke a clavicle, a wrist, an ankle and six ribs.
A Joplin Police Department report stated that the mother of the child, Tiffany Tosh, left him with Pierce at his apartment on Byers Avenue while she went shopping with a friend. She returned later that afternoon and found the child suffering injuries.
Police were called to the Freeman Hospital West emergency room after the parents took the injured baby there for treatment. The child later was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
The police report states that Pierce was interviewed at his apartment after leaving the hospital and the next morning at the Joplin police station. The affidavit stated that he admitted causing the injuries to the child.