A DeKalb County father says the Bible made him do it.
Benjamin Edetanlen was sentenced to 18 years in prison Wednesday for beating his 5-month-old son to death.
Edetanlen’s defense is that he adhered to Proverbs: 13, which taught him “Spare the rod. Spoil the child.” But prosecutors said he went too far and his discipline killed his 5-month-old child in his home in 2004.
Assistant District Attorney Dalia Racine said Edetanlen beat his 5-month-old, his 2-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son, and used the Bible to justify it.
“The defendant stated that he disciplined the children, according to the book of Proverbs in the Bible,” Racine argued in court.
Prosecutors said the boy died from blunt force trauma. He suffered brain injuries and a broken leg.
Edetanlen’s attorney told the court his client loves his children.
“Mr. Edetanlen firmly believed in the adage, you know, spare the rod and spoil the child,” defense attorney Ingrid McGaughey said.
Edetanlen faced murder charges. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter and several counts of child cruelty, according to Channel 2.
“We are asking for 18 years to serve,” Racine said, and the judge agreed.
Edetanlen was ordered to stay away from his other two children once he is released from prison.
His wife faces a charge after she allegedly did nothing to stop the abuse, according to Channel 2.