McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

February 16, 2013

McAlester man pleads guilty to child abuse

McALESTER — A McAlester man pleaded guilty recently to one felony count of child abuse for spanking a two-year-old with a belt.

Phillip Connell Walters, 29, was charged June 27 in Pittsburg County District Court with one count of felony child abuse by injury. He pleaded guilty Feb. 13 to the charge and received a 10-year suspended sentence. Walters was fined $550 and ordered to attend and complete parenting classes. He was also court ordered to not use corporal punishment on the victim or any other minor child.

According to court records, the two-year-old child was visiting Walters in McAlester in late March when the abuse occurred. When Walters was interviewed by police regarding the incident, he told authorities that he woke up one morning to find that the child had taken off a dirty diaper and was playing in poop.

“Phillip (Walters) said he overreacted and began spanking (the child) and admitted he spanked (the child) too hard,” the affidavit states. “Phillip (Walters) stated that he spanked (the child) with a double belt about eight times. Phillip (Walters) also said that he had spanked (the child) too hard but just ‘lost it.’”

According to court records, Walters girlfriend was at home at the time of the abuse. She told police that she woke up that morning to the sound of the child screaming and stopped Walters from spanking the child.

Pictures admitted into evidence show abrasions to both sides of the child’s buttocks, according to the affidavit, “and significant bruising to the outside of both upper thighs.”

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smart phone.

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