GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Gulfport man has been sentenced to 25 years in custody for felony child abuse.
Buddy Randall Cox, 23, previously pleaded guilty to hitting his two-month-old son in the head twice because the baby would not stop crying.
Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Bourgeois sentenced Cox, noting “what you did is unfathomable,” and also noting the victim was “totally defenseless” to the blows you inflicted.
The investigation began on Sept. 13, 2018, when paramedics were called to a house on Campbell Circle in Gulfport to assist a two-month-old baby who was not breathing. The baby was rushed to Memorial Hospital, where emergency room doctors quickly diagnosed the child with severe bleeding on the brain. Local law enforcement was called due to suspected child abuse. The baby was transferred to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, where the baby received care for one month.
Investigator Nickolas Pennington worked the case for the sheriff’s department. During an interview at the department, Cox confessed to hitting the baby.
“Due to the severity of the head injury, the physicians at Children’s Hosptial were of the opinion the injuries were not self-inflicted and would have not have occurred with normal handling of the child,” said Assistant District Attorney Alison Baker, who prosecuted the case.
Subdural hemorrhages are most commonly the result of blunt force trauma. The baby suffered from seizures as a result of the brain bleed and also had retinal hemorrhages and elevated liver enzymes.
“This child has some lasting health effects from the abuse, but his recovery is nothing short of a miracle,” Baker said.
At sentencing, Cox apologized to the court and admitted that if he had not been high on methamphetamines and marijuana, he might have made better decisions.
“The actions of this defendant were inexcusable. Although no punishment will fully restore this innocent child, we are hopeful that the prison sentence in this case will help to assist the victim and the rest of the family in the healing process,” said District Attorney Joel Smith.