JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - A Moss Point man accused of beating and torturing his three-year-old son has pleaded guilty to two counts of felony child abuse.
Nathan Blake McCrory, 26, admitted Wednesday in a Jackson County courtroom to the abuse charges, as well as one charge of manufacturing a controlled substance.
According to authorities, they discovered that the abuse occurred in April 2014 when the child was one and again in April 2016 when he was three.
McCrory was initially arrested on two counts of child abuse in April 2016 after Zander was rushed to the hospital with a number of injuries, including a lacerated liver, a bleed on the brain, cigarette burns, and bruises. The boy spent a week on a ventilator in an Alabama hospital as a result of those injuries.
On one of the abuse charges, McCrory was sentenced to 40 years in prison. He was ordered to serve 25 of those years behind bars and another 15 on post-release supervision. He was also ordered to pay $2,000 in court costs and $500 to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund. On the second charge of abuse he was sentenced to ten years in prison. He was also ordered to pay $1,000 in court costs for that charge.
For the drug charge, McCrory was sentenced to five years in prison, as well as court costs, a lab fee, and $1,000 fine.
"This case is exactly why we needed the Lonnie Smith Act. That law has allowed prosecutors across the state to protect innocent children, just like Zander," said District Attorney Tony Lawrence. "The level of depravity demonstrated by this defendant and the sentence he received is proof positive that the law is serving the purpose for which it was intended."
"Today marks the day where the victim's family can have a new start and move forward from this case," said Assistant District Attorney Angel Meyers. "I am proud that our office was able to use the Lonnie Smith Act to recommend an appropriate punishment for the injuries this defendant inflicted upon his son."
"The thorough investigation by the Jackson County Sheriff's Department helped our office resolve this case without having to further cause trauma to the victim by having him testify at a trial," said Assistant District Attorney Justin Lovorn. "I hope this 25-year sentence shows others that those who abuse children will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law."