Closed cases

Thomaston man gets two years in prison for seriously injuring toddler

By Stephen Betts | Nov 09, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts Joseph Emerson, standing, at his initial court appearance in August 2017.

Rockland — A 25-year-old Thomaston man who threw a toddler, causing serious brain injuries, was sentenced Nov. 2 to two years in prison.

Joseph K. Emerson was sentenced in Knox County court by Judge Paul Mathews to five years in prison with all but two years suspended for aggravated assault. Emerson will be on probation for three years upon his release.

Mathews had wanted additional testimony from a medical expert to determine whether the assault was intentional or reckless. The sentencing hearing had been recessed Oct. 2 in order to get the medical expert who examined the 18-month-old child who was injured.

Deputy District Attorney Jeffrey Baroody had asked Mathews to impose a 10-year sentence with all but three years suspended, to be followed by three years of probation.

Defense attorney Philip Cohen asked for a three-year sentence with all but nine months suspended. Cohen said a sentence of nine months or less would allow Emerson to serve the sentence at the county jail.

Emerson spent three months in jail before being released on bail. He was arrested in August 2017 and pleaded guilty in May to aggravated assault.

The child suffered a fractured skull and a bruised brain. When the child was taken to the hospital, broken ribs and a lacerated liver were also found, although the injuries occurred prior to the assault.

Emerson originally said the boy had fallen off a metal chair and struck his head, according to an affidavit filed by police. Emerson told the toddler's mother that the boy's eyes had rolled back into his head for a moment, but then became normal. Emerson told the mother that he applied ice to the boy's head to reduce the swelling.

The mother called the child's father the following morning when the child awoke and was not acting right, according to the affidavit.

Emerson eventually admitted to police that he threw the child off the bed when the toddler was hitting him with a toy truck.

The mother told police that she did not believe Emerson would have been violent with the boy, but also said she had seen him get rough with her son, including squeezing him hard around the ribs, such that she could see the veins in Emerson's arm bulging, according to the affidavit.

Cohen said at the October hearing that his client had not been found responsible for the broken ribs and that other people who had been in the household could have been responsible. And he argued that Emerson did not so much throw the child, but swatted him off the bed and immediately attempted to catch him before he struck the floor.

The child's father gave testimony in October about the impact the assault has had on the boy and the family. He said the child is undergoing therapy and has regular medical examinations. The child is scared of doctors and must be sedated for some tests.

The father said he will never know what type of developmental damage has been done and how smart his child could have been if not for the assault by Emerson.

"No sentence truly holds him accountable," the father said.

Other Knox County court cases that were completed from Nov. 2 through Nov. 9 were:

Amber St. Pierre, 23, Palermo, was sentenced to five days in jail for a probation violation on a prior aggravated assault conviction (November 2014 in Warren).

John W. Williams, 50, Warren, was fined $60 for an operating a vehicle without a license from July 2004 in Rockland.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Nov 10, 2018 15:22

There is such a thing as "Lock him up and throw the key away"!  Hopefully the child will be put in a good loving family home, (rather "good" Foster care). If he is lucky, the people would adopt him. I will pray for this child!



Posted by: Valerie Wass | Nov 10, 2018 14:40

Really, "asked for a three-year sentence with all but nine months suspended. Cohen said a sentence of nine months or less would allow Emerson to serve the sentence at the county jail."?

 

Emerson belongs in prison!  There also should be some type of punishment for the mother's/father's if that be the case, ofthese poor children who can not fend for themselves.

Mother states, "The mother told police that she did not believe Emerson would have been violent with the boy, but also said she had seen him get rough with her son, including squeezing him hard around the ribs, such that she could see the veins in Emerson's arm bulging, according to the affidavit."

DUH!  Mother!!!!!!   It is as much your fault as Emerson's!!!!

This poor child will never be the same.

 

 



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