Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dad sentenced to 6 years in prison for abusing 10-week-old son; baby had 27 broken bones (Walhalla, South Carolina)

Dad MICHAEL DANIELS will be serving just 6 years in prison for abusing his 10-week-old son. He could have served up to 90 years, but you know how that goes. He also gets the BS "anger management" and "parenting" classes.

This guy doesn't need "parenting" classes. He needs to be kept away from babies and children. Permanently.

Dad gets the kid-glove treatment despite that fact that this baby's injuries included 27 BROKEN BONES. Some of those were inflicted before the incident that resulted in hospitalization. The local police department describes the incident as the "worst case of child abuse they had ever seen." Apparently doesn't matter to the courts.

So what happened? We're told that Poor Daddy "lost his temper" and was suffering from a "fits of anger" when he "squeezed" and shook the child. So what horrible, awful thing did this baby do? Well, he was crying! Oh my God! The nerve of that child! Seriously, what kind of sicko does this to a baby for crying?

I just pray that this guy doesn't hook up with some naive young woman in six years and do this to another child. But I'm not terribly optimistic about that.


Walhalla father sentenced to prison for child abuse
Independent Mail
Posted January 25, 2010 at 7:21 p.m. , updated January 25, 2010 at 7:21 p.m.

WALHALLA — A 21-year-old Walhalla father will spend at least the next six years in prison for squeezing his then 10-week-old son in fits of anger in March 2008, causing the child to suffer injuries that included 27 broken bones.

Michael Daniels could have been sentenced to up to a total of 90 years on three counts of inflicting great bodily injury on a child and three counts of unlawful conduct toward a child.

Tenth Circuit Solicitor Chrissy Adams said Monday afternoon that she respected the sentence handed down by Judge Alex Macaulay but was disappointed.

“We asked for the maximum sentence in this case because we believed the heinousness of the defendant’s actions warranted it,” Adams said.

Adams said her office would continue to seek the maximum sentence in serious incidents of child abuse such as the Daniels case.

On the advice of his attorney, Fletcher Smith of Spartanburg, Daniels entered a plea of no contest to the charges Monday afternoon after the morning court session had seen a jury picked to hear his case.

A no-contest plea means the defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges that the weight of evidence would likely allow the prosecution to obtain a verdict of guilty from a jury.

Macaulay told Daniels that a no-contest plea is in the eyes of a court a de facto guilty plea with all the attendant consequences.

Daniels, joined before the judge by his grandmother, aunt, uncle and father, hesitated when Macaulay asked him if he was sure he wanted to enter the plea, but finally said he did.

Macaulay sentenced him to the maximum 20 years each on the three counts of inflicting great bodily injury on a child, but suspended each sentence after six years served with five years of probation following. Daniels received six years on each of the three counts of unlawful conduct toward a child.

All the sentences will run concurrently.

In addition, Daniels will undergo anger-management and parenting classes while in prison and must register with the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect.

Assistant Solicitor Lindsey Simmons, representing the state, pressed for the maximum sentence. Smith asked for leniency for his client.

His client was 19 at the time of the abuse, Smith said, “so you had a baby trying to raise a baby.”

Daniels had no criminal record, Smith said, and three of his former teachers had been prepared to testify at trial that he had never shown any indications of a violent nature.

Macaulay warned Daniels after sentencing that he could end up serving more than six years in prison.

“If you violate probation, you would have 14 more years to serve,” Macaulay told him. “What you do with your life is entirely in your hands. I hope you’ve learned your lesson. We must take care of those in our charge and our care.”

Daniels was arrested in April 2008 after an investigation by the Walhalla Police Department into what the investigators at the time described as the worst case of child abuse they had ever seen.

On March 3, 10-week old Michael Isaiah Daniels had been taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital by his mother, Natasha Perez, who lived with Daniels at a Walhalla Gardens Apartments address.

Upon examination, the child was found to have 20 rib fractures, seven leg fractures and a torn lip.

Assistant Solicitor Simmons said Monday the examination showed the fractures in various states of healing, some possibly inflicted as long as two weeks before the hospital examination.

The Greenville Hospital notified the Department of Social Services, which contacted the Walhalla Police Department.

Simmons said that in first interviews Daniels told investigators the child was injured falling off a bed but later admitted that he had on at least three occasions lost his temper and squeezed and shaken the child when unable to make it stop crying.

On one of the three occasions, Simmons said, Daniels had admitted being under the influence of marijuana.

The child, now 2, is in the custody of his maternal aunt and is, in the words of both Simmons and Adams, thriving.

After sentencing, Daniels bid his family a tearful farewell as deputies took him to the jail.