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Lexington Park man sentenced for child abuse

Update Aug. 22, 2017

Leonardtown, MD- Maryland Circuit Court Judge David W. Densford sentenced Elijah Holmes Jr., 21 of Lexington Park, to 15 years in prison with the possibility of parole after seven-and-a-half years for second-degree assault and second-degree child abuse. The assault occurred Feb. 10, with Holmes’ arrest being made Feb.15.

In court on Monday, Aug. 21,the prosecutor gave details of some of the three-year-old victim’s injuries; the child is scheduled for brain surgery next month, is relearning how to talk, walk, and eat, and is unable to correlate the movement of his limbs with his brain activity. The family of the victim is looking into handicap accessible wheelchairs and strollers for the child now.

Also in the courtroom was the mother of the victim, who gave her testimony regarding the incident. With tears streaming down her face, the mother described her child before the incident as being “silly” and “clingy to [his] mother.” The mother went on to say that her child is, “…perfect, everything a mother could ask for. [He] is still perfect in my eyes.”

The victim loved running and playing with his brothers, and even sung in the children’s choir at their church. The doctors in this case were not expecting him to pull through after his injuries, so even with potentially permanent brain damage, the existing life of this boy is a medical miracle.

The victim was in the care of Elijah Holmes Jr. when the assault took place. The boy fell off the couch, and was then aggressively shaken by Holmes until he appeared “lifeless.” Holmes then called the boy's mother before alerting authorities. Holmes was in a relationship with the victim’s mother.

Although he is not the biological father of any of her children, Holmes watched over them and took them to and from daycare. Holmes and the mother were living together, and had never used any sort of violent discipline with the children.

Holmes does not have any prior convictions, nor any history of outbursts such as this. Holmes graduated from McDonough High School with a 3.2 GPA and took on a fatherly role to the mother’s three children. The defense stated this was a mental breakdown brought on by stress and lack of sleep, as such an action was extremely out of character for the defendant.

Holmes stood up, turned to the mother of the victim, and tearfully apologized for his actions, stating that he wished he could take it back. After sentencing, Judge Densford stated that he hopes Holmes can teach others how to handle situations of extreme stress rather than losing control.

Holmes must serve at least half of his sentence before being considered for parole.

Contact Naomi Hurley at n.hurley@thebaynet.com


Previous reports

St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Charge Suspect with Child Abuse
On February 10, 2017, Detective M. Hulse of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office responded to the Charles Regional Medical Center located in La Plata, Maryland for the report of child abuse. The investigation revealed a three-year-old juvenile victim received serious injuries while in the care and custody of 21-year-old Elijah Holmes Jr., of Lexington Park, Maryland. Due to the severity of the victim's injuries, he was transported to another hospital for further medical treatment.

The initial account of events provided by Holmes on how the victim received the injuries was not consistent with medical reports. Subsequently, an additional interview was conducted. At that time, Holmes admitted to shaking the victim out of anger until he became lifeless.

Holmes was transported to the St. Mary's County Detention Center on February 15, 2017, where he was charged with the following:

Child Abuse 2nd Degree-Custodian

Assault Second Degree

Additional charges may be forthcoming pending a review with the State’s Attorney. Holmes is being held at the St. Mary’s County Detention Center on a no bond status.

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