A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to six months in jail and years of probation for severely beating his infant daughter. He pleaded no contest to charges stemming from breaking the baby's bones and inducing internal bleeding, which he attributed to "snapping" (video below).
On Dec. 16, Richard A. Root was sentenced by Judge Thomas Gritton of the Winnebago County Circuit to six months in jail and seven years of probation for child neglect resulting in great bodily harm, WXIA reports.
Gritton ordered 21-year-old Root to abstain from alcohol and drugs, seek counseling and hold down a job or enroll in school.
On March 3, Root violently shook his 2-month-old daughter at his home in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He broke more than 20 of the infant's bones and caused multiple brain bleeds. The girl was airlifted to an area children's hospital to be treated and has since been released into the custody of another family member, Oshkosh Northwestern reports.
The father was reportedly alone with the baby while her mother was at work. The mother has not been charged in relation to the incident. He was arrested for child neglect with recklessly causing great bodily harm and could have faced up to 15 years in prison.
Root told authorities he had "snapped" and hurt the baby because of stress and sleep deprivation. He demonstrated on a doll how he shook his daughter and kneeled on her legs while changing out her diaper. The violent episode had left the girl with nine broken ribs, broken legs and bruises on her head.
"We have to remind ourselves, as parents, that if were become upset, that type of thing, just back away from the situation, have someone else handle it, you know and have someone else care for the child," Oshkosh Police Officer Joe Nichols told WLUK.
On Aug. 9, Root pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of child neglect with consequence of great bodily harm, sparing him 15 years behind bars, WBAY reports.
Assistant District Attorney Eric Sparr of Winnebago County said prosecutors were satisfied with Root's sentence.
"It's something that's going to impact his life in a really significant way," Sparr told WAGT. "And ultimately, it's something that's going to help save the community and specifically that family."
Gritton ordered that Root not have any contact with his daughter or a second child that he and his wife are expecting, pending supervised visits.