Stone Mountain, Ga. – A local DeKalb County man has been arrested and charged with the death of a 19-month-old little boy.
Employees at Emory Decatur Hospital called authorities about suspected child abuse on January 21. On that date the baby was brought in unconscious and not breathing. The suspected man reported that he had been playing videogames when he heard the child fall off the bed. The child was his girlfriend's son.
CPR was performed on the boy by nurses at Emory Decatur but then they noticed the boy had bruises, neck markings, chest markings, and multiple abrasions all over his body that were consistent with severe abuse. Doctors later discovered that the baby had a skull fracture and injury to his spine.
He was arrested for first degree child cruelty and felony murder.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will focus today's post on cruelty to children as it is defined by Georgia Law.
Cruelty to Children in Georgia
Cruelty to Children in Georgia is separated into three different degrees by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-5-70.
First-degree cruelty to children occurs 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. In addition, cruelty to children in the first degree includes when a person maliciously causes a child under the age of 18 cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.
Second-degree cruelty to children occurs when a person with criminal negligence causes a child less than 18 years old cruel or excessive physical or mental pain.
Third-degree cruelty to children occurs when either 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 a 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.
Cruelty to children is considered a felony in Georgia. The penalty can include up to twenty years in prison. The only exception is with third degree child cruelty - a judge has the discretion with this degree to charge it as a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
If you have been arrested in the state of Georgia, call our offices today. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can help you with your case now. Just because a person has been arrested for a crime in the state of Georgia does not mean that he or she is guilty of that crime. We can help you.