Man sentenced to 25 years for felony child abuse
Gulfport, Miss – District Attorney Joel Smith announced today that twenty-three-year-old Buddy Randall Cox was sentenced to 25 years for felony child abuse committed against his two-month old son.
Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Bourgeois sentenced Cox, noting “what you did is unfathomable,” and also noting the victim was “totally defenseless” to the blows you inflicted. Trial in the case was originally set to begin in March, but when Cox failed to show up for court that morning, an arrest warrant was issued.
The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department worked with Gulfport Police officers quickly located Cox at a hotel on Highway 49 in Gulfport. When Cox was brought to Court later that morning, he entered a guilty plea.
After receiving the guilty plea, Judge Bourgeois scheduled the sentencing hearing for this week.
The initial investigation began on September 13, 2018, when paramedics were called to a house on Campbell Circle in Gulfport to assist a two month-old baby who was not breathing. The baby was rushed to Memorial Hospital, where emergency room doctors quickly diagnosed the child with severe bleeding on the brain. Local law enforcement was called due to suspected child abuse. The baby was transferred to Children’s Hospital in New Orleans, where he received care for one month.
Investigator Nickolas Pennington worked the case for the Sheriff’s Department. During an interview at the Sheriff’s Department, Cox confessed to hitting the baby twice in the head because the baby would not stop crying.
“The baby suffered from seizures as a result of the brain bleed and also had retinal hemorrhages, permanent vision loss and elevated liver enzymes. This child has some lasting health effects from the abuse, but his recovery is nothing short of a miracle,” said ADA Alison Baker, who prosecuted the case on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office.
At sentencing, Cox apologized to the Court and admitted that if he had not been high on methamphetamines and marijuana, he might have made better decisions. “The actions of this defendant were inexcusable. Although no punishment will fully restore this innocent child, we are hopeful that the prison sentence in this case will help to assist the victim and the rest of the family in the healing process,” said District Attorney Joel Smith.