Convicted child abusers sentenced to 15 years - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Convicted child abusers sentenced to 15 years

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A couple convicted of abusing a child by hitting it in the head with a hammer and giving it alcohol learned their sentence Monday. 

Tonia Parker's daughter was only three months old, but had already undergone more abuse than anyone deserves in a lifetime. Now the two people responsible for that abuse, Tonia Parker and her ex-boyfriend Michael Escobedo will spend 15 years paying for what they did to the child.

"We take it as a very serious case. Anytime you have a young infant who can't take care of themselves, you have to step in and take care of them, you have to help them and in this case we felt it was very important to get the most of a sentence we could," explained Michael Craig with the District Attorney's Office.

During their trial it was revealed the baby was thrown into the air and dropped, fed alcohol, covered with a pillow and tapped on the head with a hammer. But Escobedo's attorney, Robert Wadkins, says none of that evidence points to his client, "The evidence came in and there was no evidence of the hammer that was widely publicized and some of the other accusations were not proceeded on."

He adds, they did wish for a lesser sentence, but Michael Escobedo knows he did play a role in the abuse, "He's been very remorseful. For his part of it he wishes he would have taken the actions and removed the child from the situation."

Tonia Parker's attorney, Will Kirby says she also admits her guilt and takes responsibility for hurting her child, "She is thankful her daughter is okay. She would love to at some point learn from this and have some role in her daughter's life, but she understands that will be difficult at this point."

One thing the attorneys can agree on, is a small child was the victim to a terrible crime and the people responsible have to pay for it.

Kirby told News Leader Nine, "We think it was fair. Obviously we hoped for something less than what my client got, but all things considered it was an appropriate sentence."

Craig added, "I think the sentence was appropriate, given the facts."

Tonia Parker was sentenced to 25 years in prison, but will only serve 15 years. Michael Escobedo was sentenced to 20 years and he will serve 15 years, too. Neither will be allowed to have any contact with the baby.

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