Thursday, May 22, 2008

Way To Bury The Lede, Kimball....

I was shocked at the apparent harshness of a sentence when I read the following opening line of this story in the Enquirer:

Johairo Munoz was sent to prison today for seven years after he admitted to placing a 3-year-old boy in a cold shower as punishment after the child soiled himself.

Seven years? For exposing a kid to a little cold water? Maybe not approved by the Parenting 101 textbook, but still, that seems tough. Seems like a cold shower might even be preferable to a swat on the behind. But, well, whoops, it turns out there's more:

Munoz became outraged with the child soiled himself, prosecutors said. He beat the child with his hands and belt and then held the child under a cold shower for up to 30 minutes. When the child was taken to the hospital, his body temperature was 92 degrees, six degrees below normal.

Umm, he wasn't sent away for seven years for giving the kid "a cold shower." He was sent for beating the crap out of the child, and then leaving him in a shower that was way too cold for far too much time. Sounds like the boy could have suffered hypothermia. Seven years might even be a lenient sentence.

I generally like Kimball Perry's courthouse reporting, but this time his opening line might have been a little too succinct.

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