Casper Man Sentenced to Prison, Boot Camp for Physical Abuse of Twin Infants
A Casper man is headed to prison, but could have the opportunity for a sentence reduction, after physically abusing a pair of twin infants last year.
Eric James Brown, 22, was sentenced Tuesday in Natrona County District Court to two concurrent six- to 10-year prison sentences, one for each conviction of felony child abuse.
Per a plea agreement in the case, Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins recommended Brown for the boot camp program offered by the Wyoming Department of Corrections. Should Brown successfully complete that program, he may have an opportunity to have his sentence reduced-- though Brown emphasized it was not a promise for a lesser sentence.
Before Brown was sentenced Tuesday, the victims' mother spoke in court about the impact Brown's actions have had on her children.
"My children have been a little harder than most children to handle," she told Sullins, with one son now "jumpier" toward men. She said the children are not progressing as they should for their age.
Sullins also ordered Brown to reimburse Wyoming Medicaid $3,548.61 for treatment provided to the victims.
Brown, the mother's ex-boyfriend, had lived with her and been responsible for both children on the night of Sept. 7, when the abuse occurred. Court documents say the children were taken to an emergency room the next day, where doctors reported extensive bruising on both children.
Hospital staff then called police to report the suspected child abuse.
Throughout his interview, Brown reportedly said he noticed bruising and redness on the children but told the detective he thought they were from seat belts being too tight.
Brown also said he may have hurt one of the children accidentally while Brown was asleep, saying he was a heavy sleeper and has been told he moves a lot when he sleeps.
Brown reportedly said he may have held the children too tightly, grabbed them too hard or patted their backs too hard while burping them. He said he did not hurt them on purpose.
Court documents say Brown told a detective he gets frustrated. He reportedly said he never meant to hurt the children, but if he did, he was willing to take responsibility for what happened to them.
Public defender Kurt Infanger said in court Tuesday that he felt it to be a just sentence, given the totality of the circumstances.
Infanger added that Brown intends to eventually return to Missouri, where he has family.
"He is basically going to start his life over after this incident," Infanger said.