Father sentenced to 30 years for lifelong injuries to newborn

An Austell man was sentenced to 30 years — including 20 in prison — for severely injuring his 8-week-old son, the Cobb County District Attorney said today.

Joseph Rucker McFall, 31, admitted that he inflicted the blunt-force injuries to his son’s head and fractured bones in both of the baby’s arms and a rib in October 2012, DA Vic Reynolds said in an emailed statement. McFall pleaded guilty on Thursday to five counts of aggravated battery.

But when he spoke in the courtroom Thursday, McFall contended that the injuries were accidental, Reynolds said.

“It’s not an accident,” Judge James Bodiford said. “What you’ve done is give a life sentence to your son, and to your son’s mother.”

The child, whose name was not released, is now 20 months old and is blind, Reynolds’ office said. It is believed that he will never be able to walk, talk or behave normally, the toddler’s mother said in court.

The child’s mother has filed for divorce from McFall and said she struggles daily to care for the child due to the extent of his injuries.

McFall has been in the Cobb County jail since his arrest on Oct. 30, 2012, booking records show. He was indicted in April 2013.