AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A Maine man insisted he is not a violent person, as he was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison for shaking his 6-month-old daughter so forcefully it left her brain damaged, a quadriplegic and unable to see or hear.
The baby, now in foster care, must be fed through a tube and is expected to die prematurely.
Kevin Peaslee, 22, told the judge his daughter had been extra fussy that December day because she had received shots the previous day. He was home alone with her and playing a video game, according to court documents.
The Kennebec Journal reported that Peaslee told the judge he "was frustrated that day."
"It was a horrible mistake that I can't change no matter how much I wish I could," Peaslee said. "I'm not a violent person."
The case drew national attention because of a legal battle over the state's attempt to impose a do-not-resuscitate order over the mother's objection. Maine's supreme court dismissed the mother's appeal after the state agreed to abide by her wishes.
Peaslee pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault last month. Under an agreement, two other assault charges were dropped.
Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Peaslee must report Monday to begin serving his sentence. He will also have to serve three years' probation, she said.
She said she hopes the case will help other parents learn the damage they can do to their children when they act out of anger.
"I hope that it causes other parents, when they feel frustration ... to call for help or place your child in a safe place and leave the room until you cool off," she said.