Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dad sentenced for abusing 5-month-old son; baby has permanent disabilities (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

Dads with a "prior conviction of assault and battery of a family member" probably don't make the best infant caregivers.

Dad is identified as CHARLES ADAM POTTER.


Father sentenced for shaking baby, causing brain damage

By Catherine Rogers Published: March 2, 2015, 4:55 pm

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach man will spend the next three decades in prison for abusing his 5-month-old son to the point of permanent brain damage.

In Virginia Beach Circuit Court Monday, 32-year-old Charles Adam Potter was sentenced to a 30-year prison term for aggravated malicious wounding and child abuse/neglect. The punishment was much greater than the maximum 12-year term recommend by Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines, according to Macie Pridgen with the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

On October 24, 2012, Potter and his wife took their son to the CHKD emergency room in Norfolk and told doctors they heard popping noises in his back, according to the Commonwealth’s evidence. Medical scans showed the child’s ribs had been fractured, and a physician’s evaluation revealed evidence of bleeding in the infant’s brain.

Doctors determined the injuries were the result of the baby having been shaken and caused him to develop cerebral palsy. The child “will suffer from physical and intellectual defects for the remainder of his life,” Pridgen said.

Potter was arrested the next month, and during a recorded phone call from the Virginia Beach Correctional Center, he admitted to his wife that he “snapped” when he couldn’t calm their son down.

Potter, who has a prior conviction of assault and battery of a family member, filed an Alford plea this past November. An Alford plea is a type of guilty plea wherein the suspect admits only that the prosecution has enough evidence to persuade a jury to convict him.

Potter physically abused causing severe, permanent injuries to the child’s physical and intellectual well-being.