Tacoma man pleads guilty to first-degree assault of infant son

Staff writerJanuary 31, 2014 

An 18-year-old Tacoma man accused of violently shaking his 7-day-old son and causing severe injuries pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree assault of a child.

Joshua Paul Sullivan will be sentenced Feb. 14 in Pierce County Superior Court.

The case dates to May 2013, when Sullivan and the child’s mother brought the boy to a hospital for treatment. Doctors found injuries consistent with a baby being violently shaken, court records state.

Sullivan told investigators he woke at 3 a.m. to the sound of his son’s crying and became frustrated because the baby kept fussing. He shook the boy while carrying him up and down stairs, and claimed the child’s head accidentally hit a wall.

Doctors said the baby’s injuries were too severe to match the story, court records state.

The baby is recovering, though the long-term prognosis is unclear, Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said.

“Nothing is more incomprehensible than adults harming children,” he said. “We won’t know the full effect of this senseless assault for years.”

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486

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