Armetrius Terry has turned himself in after being accused of causing his child to suffer from brain and retinal hemorrhages. According to reports, Terry flew in from Ohio to turn himself in after speaking with his mother.
There were multiple occasions where Terry was allegedly alone with the child. During those occasions, the child had a seizure, the child was found stiff and the child had trouble breathing. The child was taken to a nearby hospital on two of these occasions. The latest trip to the hospital revealed that the child was suffering from severe shaken baby syndrome.
As an Atlanta Criminal Lawyer, I will give an overview of cruelty to children in Georgia in today's post.
Cruelty to Children in Georgia
The Georgia Code divides the offense of cruelty to children into three separate degrees as outlined below.
- First Degree Cruelty to Children: When a parent, guardian, or other person supervising a child under the age of 18 willfully deprives the child of necessary sustenance to the extent that the child's well-being is jeopardized or when a person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. O.C.G.A. §16-5-70(a-b). 1st Degree Cruelty to Children is a felony offense in Georgia. The penalty can include a prison sentence of five to twenty years.
- Second Degree Cruelty to Children: When a person with criminal negligence causes a child less than 18 years old cruel or excessive physical or mental pain. O.C.G.A. §16-5-70(c). 2nd Degree Cruelty to Children is also a felony offense in Georgia. The penalty can include a prison sentence of one to ten years.
- Third Degree Cruelty to Children: When a 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 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. O.C.G.A. §16-5-70(d). 3rd Degree Cruelty to Children is a misdemeanor offense in Georgia. The penalty can include a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a fine of $1,000.
As of right now, Terry is facing some serious consequences. But as an Atlanta Criminal Attorney, it's important for me to point out that until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, everyone has the presumption of innocence.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Georgia, contact our offices today.