Former Columbus little league coach acquitted of beating his you - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Former Columbus little league coach acquitted of beating his youngest child

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Muscogee County jury decided the fate of a former little league coach accused of first degree child cruelty.

The trial wrapped up Monday afternoon.

Father of two, Brandon Wallis was accused of beating his youngest child, causing significant bruising to her lower body.

After a week-long trial it took the jury less than an hour to come up with a verdict of not guilty.

Wallis immediately began to weep; he thanked the jury, and hugged his attorneys.

Wallis' visitation with his children was highly restricted since the incident, which occurred in September 2012.

News Leader 9 spoke with Wallis immediately after he was acquitted. 

"I just want to see my kids. I want to be back with them. It's been seven months since I've held my baby girl. I want my kids. I mean that's what I want," Wallis said. "The truth speaks for itself. That's what we kept saying is the truth speaks for itself."

The defense said the truth is, it was not excessive force that caused the bruising; it was a thyroid condition that caused the little girl to bruise easily.

"They did listen to the evidence. They did hear the arguments and they heard logic and I'm just glad that the truth came out," Defense attorney William Kendrick Jr. said.

Wallis used a belt to spank his then 6 year-old daughter after she behaved badly at school.

Pictures of large purple bruises on the little girls' bottom, legs, and back were shown to the jury; however, in the end, it wasn't enough to garner a conviction.

Assistant District Attorney LaRea Moore said she was shocked at the outcome.

"To me the evidence was clear. The bruises were very extreme and the excuse that he asserted, I didn't find to be believable," Moore said.

Wallis said he planned to change the way he disciplined his children.

"That was the first time I'd ever used a belt on [my little girl] ever and no, I will never use a belt on her again," Wallis said.

The state said the defenses hypothyroidism argument was just another excuse.

"If your child bruises that easily, then you would know prior to administering that spanking," Moore said.

Before Wallis walked away with his attorneys, he said he planned to celebrate all the holidays and birthdays he's missed. He also planned to gain all his visitation rights back. 

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