By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
A Berea man pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree assault, admitting he broke his 2-month-old infant’s leg last summer because he was “aggravated and angry.”
Roscoe Lee Abner, 31, entered the guilty plea at a status hearing in Madison Circuit Court. He was scheduled to go to trial Monday.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith recommended Abner receive a sentence of eight years in prison.
During the hearing, Judge Jean C. Logue asked Abner what happened that led to the charges against him. Abner said he came home from work “aggravated and angry,” and he hurt his child.
The infant was taken June 28 to St. Joseph Berea hospital, and an exam revealed the child had a broken leg, according to a statement from the Kentucky State Police. The child was sent to University of Kentucky Medical Center for further treatment, and Abner was arrested.
A Madison grand jury indicted Abner on charges of first-degree criminal abuse (child under 12) and second-degree assault. The maximum sentence he could have received for each charge was 10 years in prison, for a total of 20 years.
As part of the plea agreement, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss the criminal abuse charge.
Second-degree assault is considered a nonviolent offense under Kentucky law, so Abner will be eligible for parole after serving 20 percent, about 19 months, of his sentence, Smith said. Parole eligibility does not mean a prisoner automatically is released, but that his case may be presented to the parole board for its decision.
In a pretrial conference last fall, Abner’s attorney asked for a reduction in bond. Smith opposed the motion, stating Abner had a “long history of violence and violating court orders.”
Senior Judge Julia Adams, who was filling in for Logue that day, agreed, noting that Abner’s criminal history showed he had violated emergency protective orders and domestic violence orders several times in the past five years.
Abner is scheduled for sentencing at 1:30 p.m. March 28.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6694.