Mom admits beating son, gets prison

A woman who admitted beating her 3-year-old son in a wooded area of Douglas County was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison, Channel 2 Action News reported.

Prosecutors said Suzie Elie beat, kicked and used a tree limb to strike the boy last November for being disrespectful after waking up and crying.

The 24-year-old Elie pleaded with the court for leniency, saying she did not mean to hurt her child: "Please, your honor, don't put me away for a long time because this was not my intentions. Please, I'm begging you!"

Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ackley asked for a lengthy prison sentence, saying, "A 3-year-old little boy woke up and he cried. And for that, he received one of the worst beatings I've ever seen. ... He had lacerations from his head to his toes."

Prosecutors said the child could have died had a passerby not intervened. The boy is now in foster care.

Elie admitted, "Please I know I made a mistake. ... I took my anger out on him, yes. It does look really bad. It sounds bad."

Elie said her Haitian upbringing taught her to discipline her child the way she did. Her defense attorney cited his client's mental issues for her actions.

Douglas County Superior Court Judge Emerson said that from "what I see over here in terms of the photographs of your son," he could not ignore the evidence of the child's injuries. Emerson sentenced Elie to 30 years, with 20 years to be served behind bars.

Shortly after Elie's sentencing, the trial began of her boyfriend, Chad Pierre-Louis, also charged in the child's beating. In opening statements, Pierre-Louis said he is a peaceful man and did not harm his girlfriend's son, Channel 2 reported.

Prosecutors said Pierre-Louis was with Elie when they took her son to the wooded area near Ashton Court and beat him. A jogger came by, saw what has happening and interrupted them.

The boyfriend "looked at her and said, 'Mind your own business,'" Ackley said.

Testimony in Pierre-Louis' trial will begin Tuesday morning in Douglas County court.