Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dad convicted of 1st-degree assault for throwing 3-month-old daughter against a wall (Beacon, New York)

Dad is identified as DAVID M. NICHOLS. No mention of a mother in the home.

Father who threw daughter sentenced Man gets 11½ years for first-degree assault

Aug. 8, 2013 5:24 AM
Written by Roberto Cruz
Poughkeepsie Journal

Relatives of the victim gasped and grasped their mouths, as a father who admitted he threw his infant daughter against the wall of his Beacon home was sentenced to 11 ½ years in prison.

David M. Nichols, 29, was sentenced Wednesday in Dutchess County Court. 

He pleaded guilty to first-degree assault, a felony, in May for throwing his 3-month-old daughter into a wall Oct. 1, fracturing her skull and causing bleeding around her brain.

“I don’t accept the excuse that you were frustrated,” Judge Stephen Greller said to Nichols, prior to sentencing. “I find this extremely unsettling… That baby was placed at serious risk of death.”

At the time of the incident, Nichols had recently lost his job at the Home Depot and was suffering from sleep deprivation, said John Evans, of the Dutchess County Public Defender’s Office, who represented Nichols in court.

Evans said his client was stressed about his monthly bills, including his mortgage and payments on two cars.

“Mr. Nichols has no prior contact with the criminal justice system,” Evans said. “He’s always wanted to resolve this case. He absolutely had a bad moment, but it is not who Mr. Nichols is.”

The Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office disagreed with that.

Addressing the court, Assistant District Attorney Marjorie Smith said, “It is apparent from the facts of this case that this is not an isolated incident.”

Prosecutors say Nichols previously shook the infant, leaving the 3-month-old with multiple rib fractures, according to court records.

Nichols was sentenced to 11 ½ years in state prison, plus five years post-release supervision. Greller issued an order of protection for the child until 2033 and ordered Nichols to comply with an order in the amount of $11,337, to cover the cost of unpaid hospital bills.

The injured child is expected to make a full recovery, without long-term physical effects.