A Metairie man was sentenced on Thursday (Sept. 22) to the maximum 10-year sentence allowable under state law for his conviction of causing injuries to his 4-month-old daughter that included a fractured skull and broken bones.
Chase King, 38, was convicted as charged by a petit jury last week of cruelty to a juvenile, for the broken femur, broken wrist, fractured skull and other injuries that the infant received while under her father’s care in the efficiency apartment in the 2300 block of Pasadena Avenue they shared with the baby’s mother.
Indicating he would have handed down a stronger sentence if he could, Judge Scott Schlegel of the 24th Judicial District Court noted that King is “an intelligent man” whose only admission in the case was that he slapped his daughter in face only once. King had no explanation for the serious injuries he was convicted of causing.
“At some point, you’re going to have to admit what you did,” Judge Schlegel told King, who holds a master’s degree in education. “You are hereby remanded” to state prison to begin the sentence.
A Children’s Hospital doctor in New Orleans notified the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office on July 15, 2015, after noticing the baby had the injuries. King admitted to slapping the baby once and then calling his wife at her work to tell her “I just clobbered the kid,” he told the case detective during the interrogation.
His defense team cited King’s cerebral palsy, which affected his motor skills, as an explanation for what could have caused the accidental injuries. On Thursday, his attorney asked for leniency, saying King had no criminal record and no longer lives with his daughter and so isn’t a threat to her or anyone else. The defense requested probation, in part because of his medical condition.
Judge Schlegel rejected the leniency request, noting that the infant’s femur was completely broken into two and the wrist had a radial fracture, injuries incurred days before the baby’s parents brought her to the hospital.
The judge noted the cerebral palsy wasn’t to blame for the baby’s injuries. “This has to do with your intentional act, when you ‘clobbered’ your child,” Judge Schlegel told him.
King’s wife, 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.