ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD)- An Orangeburg man will spend multiple years behind bars after being convicted of breaking a child’s bones in 2018.
After four hours of deliberation, an Orangeburg County jury found 43-year-old Kareem Wallace guilty of unlawful neglect of a child, according to the First Circuit Solicitor’s Office.
According to prosecutors, Wallace was left in the care of his 3-month-old baby girl, while his girlfriend dropped another child off at school on the morning of Aug. 28, 2018.
Wallace claimed that he brought the infant into the bedroom and then fell asleep. He was awoken by the child crying and claims he picked her up by her left arm and took her into the kitchen to make a bottle, prosecutors said.
Further evidence presented in court showed that when the mother returned home, she noticed the child was inconsolable and her arm was limp. She immediately rushed the child to the hospital.
Despite Wallace’s denial that he knew the child was injured, prosecutors said a forensic nurse discovered the child had a fracture in one arm, a broken collarbone, and two fractures on one leg.
Those injuries are reportedly consistent with non-accidental injuries caused by twisting, jerking, or vigorous shaking, and child abuse.
“This defenseless 3-month-old baby didn’t deserve what happened to her,” lead prosecutor Catherine Hunter said. “It is heartbreaking. I am very grateful for the medical staff who treated her and the Orangeburg Sheriff’s Office for their hard work on this difficult case.”
Following the jury verdict, the state requested Wallace receive the maximum sentence of ten years in prison. Instead, the judge sentenced Wallace to six years in prison which was suspended to two years for time served and 30 months of probation because he said the incident was a “one-off.”
“Judge Griffith and I see child abuse very differently,” Solicitor David Pascoe said when asked about the judge’s assertion. “For me, one is too many.”
The case was investigated by the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office.