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Devontae C. Jones

Devontae C. Jones

DECATUR — A Decatur man who repeatedly beat his 2-year-old son with a belt and hand-spanked his 7-month-old son before telling police and authorities they would never keep him away from his children, was sentenced to two years in prison Tuesday.

Devontae C. Jones, 23, had earlier pleaded guilty to a single count of aggravated battery causing bodily harm to a child under 13. That was part of a plea deal negotiated by his public defender, Michelle Sanders, which saw an additional charge of aggravated battery involving bodily harm and two domestic battery charges dismissed.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police officer Kimberly Chaney said Jones was arrested Nov. 29 after police found both children with extensive bruising from beatings administered by Jones. He was left to watch the children while his girlfriend worked, Chaney said, and Jones is quoted as admitting he spanked his older son “all the time” and had started using a belt when spanking as discipline was “no longer effective.”

Kimberly also quoted Jones as describing how he punched the older boy “all the time” in the arms to make him a “stronger man.” Police said the boy had multiple bruises on his stomach, buttocks, lower back, the back of both thighs, both biceps and shoulders.

The buttocks of the 7-month-old were also disfigured with extensive bruising due to frequent spanking, police said. “When asked why Devontae disciplines a 7-month-old, he advised it was because the baby would not stop crying,” Chaney said in the affidavit.

“Devontae advised neither DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) the police nor the courts could keep him away from his sons,” Chaney said. “Devontae told me he would continue to discipline his sons how he wanted …”

Jones, who has been held in the Macon County Jail, appeared distraught when Judge Thomas Griffith announced his sentence. Jones laid his head face down on the table he shared with his attorney, gasped, and began shaking his head from side to side. He also shared an anguished look with his mother, who was watching from the public benches.

Griffith had told Jones it was good he had pleaded guilty and taken responsibility for his actions. But he said a sentence of probation would be letting Jones off too lightly, considering what he had done, and the judge noted he had looked at pictures of the injuries.

“Mr. Jones, simply based on the severity of this offense and looking at those pictures, I can’t justify a sentence of probation,” Griffith said. “...You are going to be out before too awful long, and I hope you will take the appropriate steps to get your children back and be involved in their lives.”


2019 mug shots from the Herald & Review

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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