Couple pleads guilty after baby cut during fight

Mar. 07, 2013 @ 05:45 PM

A Durham man pleaded guilty to assault on a female, injury to personal property and assault in the presence of a minor in a domestic violence case that resulted in their baby being cut with a knife.

Attorney John Fitzpatrick told Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson that the baby was cut as his client, Andrew Dwayne Johnson, Jr., 24, of Belvin Avenue, Durham, was trying to take a knife away from the baby’s mother.

The mother, Beverly Anne Moore, 20, also was charged in the incident and previously pleaded guilty to similar charges.

Assistant District Attorney Charlene Coggins-Franks told Hudson that on Oct. 24, 2011, Johnson and Moore, who lived together, got into an argument over Johnson’s new tattoo.

Fitzpatrick, under questioning by Hudson, said Moore was expecting that he would come home with a tattoo that included her name.

“Her hopes were that he could come surprise her and say, ‘Here’s your picture and your name,’ and she realized it wasn’t,” Fitzpatrick said.

The tattoo was just a design, Fitzpatrick said.

Moore became angry and refused to take him to work. She then went and got a knife, Coggins-Franks said.

Johnson took the knife away and she went and got another knife, and he took that knife away, too. When their 8-month-old baby began crying, she went and got the baby and another knife as well.

As Johnson struggled to take the third knife away from Moore, they fell on the bed and the knife cut the baby. The knife cut a three-inch wound on the baby’s thigh, according to the arrest warrant.

The baby had to have surgery and has a permanent scar on his leg, Coggins-Franks said.

Moore admitted to police she did get the three knives. As they struggled over one of the knives, Johnson stabbed the bed with the knife and twisted it to try to get it out of her hand, causing the knife to break.

“When she came back with the knife, one, two and three times, he tried to get it from her,” Fitzpatrick said. “And he got rid of it.”

Moore bit his tattoo, and he bit her on the shoulder during the fight. Police also saw broken furniture in the house, and Johnson tore some of Moore‘s clothing during the fight.

Moore was charged with intentional child abuse causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon and injury to personal property, and she later pleaded guilty to felony child abuse and assault in the presence of a minor as part of a plea agreement.

She was sentenced to four to five months in prison, but the sentence was suspended and she was placed on supervised probation for 24 months. She also was required to undergo a mental health assessment and receive treatment if recommended.

Coggins-Franks said Moore went to anger management classes and DSS parenting classes.

Hudson sentenced Johnson to 60 days in jail, but he suspended the sentence for one year and placed him on supervised probation. He also ordered him to have no contact with the child’s mother.

Johnson and Moore are no longer together, and Johnson is gainfully employed, Fitzpatrick said. The baby stays with his mother.