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Fort Wayne man sentenced to prison for child neglect, battery

Monday, November 26, 2012 - 12:00 pm

A 22-year-old Fort Wayne man was sentenced Monday to a total of 20 years in prison during his appearance in Allen Superior Court.

Antonio L. Henderson, 22, of the 300 block of West Williams Street was sentenced on four counts of neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily injury, all Class C felonies; and four counts of battery resulting in bodily injury (of a victim less than 14 years and defendant at least 18), all Class D felonies, which occurred between May 1 and Oct. 31 in 2011.

According to court documents, the mother of the children, Breezy G. Parker, 27, had a relative who called the police after having one of Parker's children stay in her home for the weekend.

According to the documents, Henderson was the mother's boyfriend and he took care of the children while Parker was out. The child reportedly told the relative some of the things that Henderson had done to the children, who were ages 8, 5, 4 and 1.

According to court documents, the officer responding to the house found it cold and that the children had no shoes. Henderson allegedly said the gas had been shut off for six months. The officer said in the court documents that he noticed bruising on the children's faces, with one child having "raccoon eyes" and a blood spot in one eye.

Henderson said some of the punishment involved having the children stand against a wall and hold out a basketball for 10 minutes; he would also make them stand against a basement wall with the lights out, according to court records.

Department of Child Services caseworker Laura Johnson responded to the scene.

When Parker returned home, she denied any knowledge of the abuse and said she worked 70-80 hours a week, according to court documents. Parker indicated that Henderson is the one who disciplines the children. The 1-year-old had a skull fracture, which the mother at first said the child got by falling down the stairs and then later said the child received it when playing football with Henderson and falling off the deck, according to court records.

Allen County Superior Court Judge John Surbeck gave Henderson five years for each of the four counts of neglect of dependent resulting in bodily injury, with four years of each sentence to be run consecutively, and with 1 year on each count to be suspended. Henderson was sentenced to two year sentence on the battery charges, to run concurrent to the sentences for neglect.

Once the 16-year sentence is served, Henderson is to be place on four years of probation.