Father gets 20 years for beating infant

AUSTELL, Ga. -- An Austell man has been sentenced to 30 years, with 20 to be served in prison, for severely beating his 8-week-old son.

Joseph Rucker McFall, 31, pleaded guilty last week to five counts of aggravated battery against a child. He admitted to battering his son in the head, breaking both his arms and fracturing one of his ribs in October 2012.

McFall's son, who is now 20 months old, suffered permanent damage from the abuse. He is legally blind and may never walk, talk or behave normally, according to information presented in court.

The boy's mother spoke during last week's hearing, saying she struggles every day to care for her child. She has filed for divorce from McFall.

The defendant also addressed the court, saying his child's injuries were accidental. But Cobb County Superior Court Judge James G. Bodiford disagreed.

"It's not an accident. What you've done is give a life sentence to your son and to your son's mother," Bodiford told McFall.


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