The Richmond Register

Crime

March 30, 2013

Child abuse charges reduced to misdemeanors

RICHMOND — In a court case that involved what one attorney called a “misguided approach” to child discipline, a man pleaded guilty Thursday to reduced misdemeanor criminal abuse charges.

Joshua McWhorter Dillion pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal abuse. He originally had been indicted on two counts of first-degree criminal abuse.

If he had been convicted on the felony charges, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The case was resolved through a process called felony mediation, in which the attorneys presented summaries of their cases to a special judge, who then worked with both sides, plus the victims, to come to an agreement on a suitable punishment.

In this case, the grandfather of the two preteen victims took part in the mediation. He is the custodial party, according to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith.

The mediation agreement called for Dillion to be sentenced to the maximum for each misdemeanor, which is 12 months in jail. However, the sentence will be diverted for two years provided Dillion has no contact with his stepsons and follows all family court orders.

During the hearing, Dillion initially said the abuse was an accident, saying his stepsons often fought with each other and wrestled.

“If you weren’t guilty of anything, then you need a trial,” Judge Jean Chenault-Logue said. “Didn’t you hit one (child) in the head with a bat?”

“It sounds that way, but it was an accident,” Dillion said, adding he would pull the children’s ears or kick them in the behind to break up their fights.

Smith interjected, explaining that what Dillion did to the boys was a “misguided approach to disciplining these stepchildren.”

“Mr. Dillion’s counsel made a compelling presentation that in Mr. Dillion’s mind, this wasn’t abuse,” Smith said.

Dillion was represented by attorney Jimmy Dale Williams.

Smith said there were several instances of ear-pinching and finger-pulling. In one instance, Dillion grabbed one boy by the neck of his sweatshirt and pulled, leaving a mark on the child’s neck.

Smith said the second incident involved Dillion’s use of a toy mini-bat, but it did leave a visible injury.

At the end of the hearing while discussing the requirement that Dillion have no contact with the victims, Logue inquired about his status with the boys’ mother. Smith said the mother and Dillion have a baby in common, and she has chosen to stay with him instead of her two older children.

Dillion is scheduled for sentencing at 1:30 p.m. May 9.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

1
Text Only
Crime
  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 Robert Abney.jpg RPD: Bottle bomb injures man, damages neighbor’s home

    Richmond Police on Friday charged Robert Abney, 30, of Moberly Avenue, in connection with a May 30 explosion that injured Abney and damaged a neighbor’s home.
    Officers were dispatched May 30 to a residence in the 500 block of Moberly Avenue to investigate the report of an explosion.
    They found the remains of a plastic bottle bomb near a residence adjoining Moberly’s, according to an RPD news release. A wall of the occupied home was smoldering and grass was burned in the area, it added.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-24 Justin Smith.jpg One arrested, one sought in Sunday home invasion

    Two men in search of another man broke into a Keystone Drive home Sunday and harassed residents in another nearby home Monday, according to a Richmond Police report.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • RPD: Man falls through ceiling attempting to elude police

    When Richmond Police went to Cody Shelton’s Kristin Drive apartment at 9:44 p.m. Wednesday to arrest him on a parole-violation charge, they said he attempted to elude them by hiding in the attic crawl space.

    July 18, 2014

  • Man indicted in Manhattan Club shooting

    A man charged in a May 20 shooting at the Manhattan Club in which a man was wounded was indicted Wednesday by a Madison County grand jury.

    July 17, 2014

  • 7-18 Aaron Tate.jpg Local burglary suspect found in Texas border town

    A man wanted in Madison County on burglary and criminal mischief charges since March was arrested July 11 by the U.S. Marshal Service in Brownsville, Texas, on the Mexican board.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mother pleads guilty to allowing child rape

    Deanna Lawson, charged with 20 counts of complicity in the rape and sodomy of a minor, pleaded guilty in Madison Circuit Court on Wednesday.
    Between October 2011 and September 2012, Eric Kelley had sexual relations with Lawson’s two daughters, according to court documents.
    She was charged with complicity after police said they learned Lawson knew of the crimes but didn’t try to stop them or alert authorities.

    July 12, 2014

  • No extra jail time for parents on prostitution charge

    Anthony and Kathy Hart, two Madison County residents who pleaded guilty May 21 to prostituting their daughters, won’t be seeing any extra time in jail.
    Both parents, who served time in jail while their charges were pending, were sentenced to probation Thursday in Madison Circuit Court.

    July 11, 2014