A Douglas County man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Tuesday for what the district attorney is calling one of the most troubling cases of child abuse he has ever seen.
Jada Jawan Goodson was convicted for beating his 5-month-old son so badly that the boy, who is now almost 3 years old, is confined to a wheel chair and unable to speak, according to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office. Goodson was found guilty last week of two counts of first-degree cruelty to children and two counts of aggravated assault, prosecutors said.
“This was one of the most troubling cases of child abuse that I have ever seen,” District Attorney Brian Fortner said. “The defendant deserves every day of the sentence he received. We will exhaust every resource we have in the protection of our children.”
Prosecutors said on April 19th, 2012, Goodson was home alone with his 5-month-old twins and their 1 year-old brother when he claimed he found the child suffering from seizures and struggling to breathe around 8:30 p.m. He waited an hour and a half before seeking help, they said.
The baby was rushed to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite in critical condition for skull fractures, retinal hemorrhages, and new bleeding on the brain, prosecutors said. The baby also had a massive amount of old blood on his head which the neurosurgeon testified was indicative of a significant abusive trauma to the brain.
The Division of Family and Children Services ordered that Goodson not be allowed around the baby while Douglas County Sheriff's deputies investigate. But about a month after the infant returned home, the mother secretly allowed Goodson to return to the home and a few weeks later, while Goodson was again left home alone with the child; he was found again suffering seizures and struggling to breathe, prosecutors said.
For the second time he was rushed to Scottish-Rite where it was determined he had new injuries to the retina, new bleeding on multiple areas of the brain, and had suffered brain damage – and this time it was irreversible.
“The child was almost 3 years old but could not walk or talk, and was confined to a specially made wheelchair,” prosecutors said in court.
Doctors testified that the child’s injuries clearly indicated the child was abused, either by being violently shaken or by having some blunt force trauma inflicted onto his skull.
“(Their) testimony indicated the injuries were comparable to being ejected from a car in a high speed car crash,” prosecutors said.