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Winston-Salem man pleads guilty to abusing 4-month-old son

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A Winston-Salem man was convicted on Thursday of charges that he physically abused his 4-month-old son by sitting on him, twisting his wrists and pulling on his leg repeatedly, resulting in multiple fractures, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

James Walter Duggins, 24, of 711 Brannigan Village Drive, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony child abuse inflicting serious physical injury.

He initially had been charged with child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury.

Assistant District Attorney Kia Chavious said in court that Winston-Salem police began investigating after the child was brought to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center on July 12, 2011.

According to the paper, Duggins told Winston-Salem police of times when he squeezed his son’s wrists until he heard a popping sound, Chavious said. Duggins also said he sat on the boy.

Duggins told police that he once threw his son into a baby bassinet and that the baby hit the back of his head, she said. Another time, he pulled his son’s legs until they were hyperextended, Chavious told the paper.

The incidents took place between May and July of 2011. Duggins rarely sought medical care for his son, Chavious told the paper.

Marilyn Massey, Duggins’ attorney, said that Duggins was “immature and young at the time.” Since he was arrested, he has taken parenting classes, she told the paper.

Judge John O. Craig gave Duggins an active sentence of 24 months to 38 months in prison. He also gave Duggins a suspended sentence of 24 months to 38 months on the second count and placed him supervised probation for 36 months after he gets out of prison.

Read more: Winston-Salem Journal