A Johns Creek father was sentenced to 10 years in prison Monday after admitting he abused his 5-week-old daughter.
Gregory Odell Barnett pleaded guilty to child abuse charges in the January attack that left the child with brain damage, Channel 2 Action News reported. But Barnett was too drunk at the time to remember what he did to the girl, his attorney told the courtroom.
Barnett was arrested in January after the baby’s mother returned home to find the child suffering from severe swelling to her head, police previously said. The baby’s mother, Courtney Johnson, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after the arrest that her boyfriend had been violent with her in the past, but she never thought he would harm their child.
The couple had a fight on Jan. 12 and Johnson said she left the home for about 20 minutes, leaving her newborn with Barnett. When she returned, she found the baby lying face down on a pillow and crying, suffering from severe swelling to her head, according to police.
“The baby’s rear, left and right side of her head looked deformed due to the massive amount of swelling,” the police report stated.
The child was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite and Barnett was arrested.
In court Monday, Johnson said the baby was left with severe brain damage and is developmentally delayed.
“I know in the back of my mind, she might not ever sit up,” Johnson said. “My daughter may never crawl, she may never walk, never feed herself. Might never say the word mama.”
In addition to prison time, Barnett was also sentenced to 10 years probation.
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