Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Child Cruelty Charges for Barrow County Parents Accused of Beating Infant

Posted by Richard Lawson | Feb 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

A mother and father in Barrow County were arrested on what some have been referring to the most horrific infant beating ever seen. Their 3-week-old baby arrived at the NE Georgia Medical Center with broken bones and serious internal injuries. Parents, Jarrett McCloud and Megan Richmond remain in jail without bond. They were arrested after a custody hearing when the baby was taken out of their care.

Nurses at the NE Georgia Medical Center responded saying that, “they've never seen a child this dramatically beaten survive.” As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of cruelty to children in today's post. The parents are definitely facing more charges than child cruelty, but we will focus on it today nonetheless.

Cruelty to Children in Georgia

Cruelty to Children in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-5-70 by diving the offense into three separate degrees.

First-Degree Cruelty to Children is defined by law as: A parent, guardian, or other person supervising the welfare of or having immediate charge or custody of a child under the age of 18 commits the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree when such person willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's health or well-being is jeopardized. Any person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree when such person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. A person convicted of the offense of cruelty to children in the first degree as provided in this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years.

Second-Degree Cruelty to Children is defined by law as: Any person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the second degree when such person with criminal negligence causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. A person convicted of the offense of cruelty to children in the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 10 years.

Third-Degree Cruelty to Children is defined by law as: Any person commits the offense of cruelty to children in the third degree when: Such person, who is the primary aggressor, intentionally allows a child under the age of 18 to witness the commission of a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery; or Such person, who is the primary aggressor, having knowledge that a child under the age of 18 is present and sees or hears the act, commits a forcible felony, battery, or family violence battery. A person convicted of the offense of cruelty to children in the third degree shall be punished as for a misdemeanor upon the first or second conviction.

In order to be convicted of any degree of cruelty to children in Georgia, the prosecution must demonstrate that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be established by evidence establishing the age of the child, which the child or children suffered physical or mental pain. Evidence that the pain was cruel or excessive, and that the defendant caused the pain. As well as evidence  that the defendant acted maliciously in committing the crime.

Practice Note

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, it is always important for me to point out that just because an individual has been arrested doesn't mean immediate guilt. An arrest does not mean guilt. There are Georgia Criminal Defenses that can be utilized in the case of a wrongful arrest.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for committing a crime in Georgia, contact our offices today.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense and Criminal Defense. As a former Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. In DUI cases, you only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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