Father sentenced for abusing his infant child

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Father sentenced for abusing his infant child

Leonardtown, MD - 5/16/2013

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By Dick Myers

Jacob Wilkins
Jacob Wilkins

A Charlotte Hall man has been sentenced to 18 months in jail for the second degree assault on his infant son. Jacob Wilkins, 20, was sentenced Wednesday in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court by Judge Michael Stamm. Wilkins also has a Waldorf address in court records.

Wilkins was indicted on charges of Child Abuse/2nd Degree – Custodial and Assault-Second Degree. A warrant for his arrest was served on February 23, 2012. He pled guilty to the second degree assault charge on January 25 of this year.

Deputy State’s Attorney Julie White told the judge than the child, who is now 20 months old, obviously could not testify as to what happened to him. She said the child was taken to Children’s Hospital when he was just one month old. The child had several fractured ribs and a broken leg. “Punishment will never be enough to take back what he (Wilkins) has taken from his family.”

White said, “He has an incredible anger problem.” She added, “In a fit of anger he broke his son’s leg. That requires an incredible amount of force.”

The victim and his mother have since moved out of the area

Wilkins’ attorney, Public Defender Gerald Riviello said neither parent (the mother is now 17) was prepared for parenthood. He said the event came “out of ignorance” not anger. “I don’t think it was horrific,” he said. The attorney noted his client had taken responsibility and enrolled in a parenting class but said counselors felt he didn’t need anger management classes.

Wilkin’s father, Henry, testified at the sentencing hearing that he couldn’t believe his son did what he was charged with. He said, “He is not denying something happened. He is not an angry person.” He added, “I really don’t believe there was any intent for this child to be hurt.”

Wilkin told the judge, “I have never been an angry person. I have always been a shy guy.” He said in talking to police he changed his story, “because I was scared to death.” He testified he picked up his son and didn’t know how the injuries occurred.

The judge listened to Wilkins intently and then said, “Never once did you mention your child. Everything was about you. As a father the center of your universe is your child.” The judge said when he looked at pictures of Wilkins’ son, “I see a darling child. I see a baby.”

The judge’s sentence was five year in the Department of Corrections, suspended to 18 months in the county jail so he can have work release and continue to support his son, which testimony indicated he had been doing. Also the judge ordered that one-thirds of his salary go to support the child. He will be on five year’s supervised probation after he is released.

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