A Metairie man faces up to 10 years in prison for his conviction of causing injuries to his 4-month-old daughter that included a fractured skull and a broken wrist and leg.
Chase King, 38, was convicted as charged Wednesday night (Sept. 14) of cruelty to a juvenile, for the injuries that led a Children’s Hospital doctor to notify police on July 15, 2015. The offense involves the intentional or criminally negligent mistreatment or neglect that causes “unjustifiable pain or suffering” to a child, according to the statute.
King’s daughter had a blackened eye, bruising and a small cut on her face, a broken left femur and a broken right wrist. Prosecutors argued that the child’s skull was fractured days before she was brought to Children’s Hospital.
King, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was the child’s primary caregiver while his wife, Judith King, was at work. He told a detective during the interrogation that he cared for his daughter in the couple’s “cramped” efficiency apartment in the 2300 block of Pasadena Avenue.
He denied losing his temper with the child but admitted he slapped her “across the face” as she lay in her crib on the day before the baby was brought to the hospital. After striking her, he said he called his wife and said, “I just clobbered the kid,” he told Detective Kelly Kron of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office during the video-taped interrogation, which jurors saw.
Of the skull fracture, King speculated it happened accidentally when he lifted his daughter over his head, causing the child’s head to strike the ceiling. “She cried,” King told the detective. “We didn’t think anything of it.”
Of the broken wrist, King said the injury could have been caused as he pulled his daughter’s arm through a sleeve while dressing her.
As to what caused his daughter’s broken femur, he said, “I have no clue.”
King, who holds a master’s degree in educational ministry, expressed frustration over his struggle with cerebral palsy and being the primary caregiver in the small apartment, but he denied intentionally harming the child. His defense team suggested the injuries were the result of accidents caused, in part, by his cerebral palsy, which affected his motor skills.
Judith King, 38, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of child abandonment on Jan. 15, for not going to her daughter’s aid after her husband called saying he “clobbered the kid.” She entered an Alford plea, in which she did not admit guilt but pleaded guilty in light of the evidence against her. Judge Schlegel deferred a prison sentence and ordered her to serve one year of active probation.
Assistant District Attorneys Rhonda Goode-Douglas and Marko Marjanovic prosecuted Mr. King.