A Tacoma man was sentenced Friday to 16 1/2 years in prison for violently shaking his infant son, causing severe head trauma and internal bleeding.
Joshua Sullivan, 19, pleaded guilty on Jan. 31 to assault of a child in the first degree for shaking his 7-day-old son on May 23, 2013, according to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office.
Sullivan was awoken by his crying son at 3 a.m. and became frustrated because the infant kept “fussing,” according to a news release. He shook his son, causing his head to hit the wall as he carried him up and down the stairs.
The baby’s mother and Sullivan noticed the next morning that the baby’s eyes were swollen, according to the news release. When the baby received medical attention, staff noticed he had bruises on his face, arms, back and ear and was bleeding from his umbilical cord. The baby underwent emergency brain surgery after staff determined he suffered non-accidental head trauma, resulting in severe internal bleeding. Sullivan was arrested July 2, 2013.
The state had requested an exceptional sentence of 20 years.