Timothy Choice, 25, is finally facing justice after a jury found him guilty of first degree felony injury to a child. In July 2013, Choice was charged with seriously harming his former girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.
After the child failed to use the toilet, he urinated on himself. Choice responded by forcing the boy’s feet into hot water, which resulted in painful 2nd and 3rd degree burns. The boy was so severely injured had to be flown to a Dallas hospital, where he stayed for two days.
Choice pleaded not guilty to his crimes and the trial lasted a single day. Experts at the Smith County hearing testified that the crime would most likely have a lifelong impact on the young victim. They argued that the damage was not just physical, but also psychological.
Children who suffer abuse are far more likely to suffer from mental health issues in the long term. In fact, at least one study has found about 80% of 21 year-olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. Child abuse is often cyclical. Approximately 30% of children who are abused and neglected will go one to abuse their own children. Abuse happens in every community, no matter the socioeconomic situation, culture, race, religion or level of education.
Choice’s attorney disagreed with the expert’s claims, arguing in court that their testimony made the injuries seem far more serious than they actually were. The attorneys argued that the boy’s brief hospital stay proof that the testimony was exaggerated.
Choice faced up to 99 years in prison, but Judge Jack Skeen sentenced to him to a 50 year sentence. After half of Choice’s punishment is served, he will be eligible for parole.
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