Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dad gets 25 years for blow to head that left newborn son brain damaged (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Dad MICHAEL ANTHONY DOUGLAS has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for bashing the head of his newborn son (he was only 21 days old) and fracturing his skull. The boy--now 2 years of age--suffered serious brain damage and now has profound speech, hearing, and learning disabilities.

Dad gets 25 years for blow to head that left boy brain damaged
March 29, 2010 2:25 PM

Michael Anthony Douglas won’t get his wish of being there when his son scrapes a knee or meets his first girlfriend.

That’s because a judge today sentenced the 25-year-old Colorado Springs man to 25 years in prison for inflicting a blow to the head that left his now 2-year-old son Jesse with irreversible brain damage.

Fourth Judicial District Judge Gilbert A. Martinez imposed the sentence on Douglas whom a jury convicted in January of child abuse but acquitted on an attempted-murder charge in the Oct. 10, 2007, incident.

Douglas hit his then 21-day-old son hard enough to fracture the boy’s skull. The youngster – who ran outside the courtroom shouting hello to lawyers – looks like a normal 2-year-old boy, said Deputy District Attorney Donna Billek.

But if anyone talks to the youngster they’ll quickly discover he has a vocabulary of about 12 words and will have profound speech, hearing and learning disabilities for the rest of his life.
Billek said that for 16 hours after hitting his son, Douglas did nothing to get help.

“At no point did he accept responsibility until well into that night,” she told Martinez.

Krystal Denton, the boy’s mother, asked the judge to impose a sentence that would enable Douglas to still be a father to their two sons.

However, Ronda Denton, the boy’s grandmother who now has custody of Jesse and his younger brother, asked Martinez to impose the maximum 32-year-sentence.

“We as parents are supposed to keep our children safe from harm, to love them, feed them and protect them,” she said. “Michael did none of these things for Jesse.”

Douglas apologized for his actions and pleaded with the judge to allow him to be there for the important moments in his sons’ lives.

“Please don’t take them away from me forever,” he said, squeezing a tissue in his handcuffed fist. “I love them too much.”

Martinez said he felt the maximum sentence was not called for, noting that the injury resulted from a single blow to the head.

But he rejected Douglas’ plea for a lighter sentence.

“That’s what happens when you hit a 21-day-old on the side of the head,” the judge said.

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