Prosecutors: Lack of remorse leads to man receiving stiff prison sentence for slamming baby on bed
POCATELLO — A local man who pleaded guilty to inflicting at least one severe brain injury on his 3-month-old daughter received the maximum 10-year prison sentence this week.
Kory Robert Prescott, 37, of Pocatello, was charged this past May with one count of felony injury to a child for grabbing his infant daughter “above the waist and slamming her onto her back on a bed,” according to the Pocatello Police Department.
The Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office told the Journal on Wednesday that because of serious questions regarding Prescott’s level of remorse and accountability for his crime, the judge handling the case, Rick Carnaroli, ignored the prosecutor’s recommendation of probation and delivered the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, three of which must be served before Prescott is eligible for parole consideration.
Bannock County Deputy Prosecutor Zach Parris said that initially Prescott took ownership of the actions that led to his daughter’s significant injuries. But weeks before Prescott was sentenced, and after he had agreed in January to plead guilty, he made statements to investigators tasked with determining his risk to reoffend that were contradictory to his earlier remorseful sentiments, Parris said.
The judge took Prescott’s lack of remorse into consideration when handing down the sentence, Parris said.
The case against Prescott dates back to April 27, 2018, when Pocatello police received a call from Portneuf Medical Center staff about his infant daughter being admitted for severe trauma to her head with internal bleeding. The child was subsequently flown by emergency helicopter from PMC to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City for further evaluation and potential surgery, police said.
Prescott told the police officers who responded to PMC on the day of his daughter’s injury that he was watching the child while her mother Mandalyn Robinson was at work. Prescott told police that after he gave his daughter a bath that morning the baby cried until he gave her a bottle a short time later. The child then fell asleep, Prescott said.
It was after the baby woke up and began crying again that she suddenly went “limp and unresponsive,” Prescott told police at PMC.
However, police later conducted interviews with members of Robinson’s family who resided with Prescott and Robinson and these family members told police they were highly concerned regarding Prescott’s interactions with his 3-month-old daughter as well as his interactions with Robinson’s 3-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.
During a subsequent interview with police on May 4, Prescott told police detectives the same series of events he told the police officers at PMC. But after police told him that he needed to be 100 percent honest to keep his family together, Prescott changed his story.
Prescott said the child was fussing and he could not calm her down so he dropped the baby from between 1 and 1.5 feet in the air onto the bed’s mattress. Police continued to question Prescott who eventually said, “I did it, I lost my cool. I didn’t mean to do it or hurt her,” according to police.
Prescott then told police that he “picked (the infant) up just above her waist and slammed her down onto her back on the bed,” according to police.
Prescott said the baby’s head was not supported when he slammed her down. When police asked Prescott to rate how hard he slammed her on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being most severe, Prescott said, “It would have been a 6 to 10.”
During the adjudication of his case, Prescott, through his Pocatello attorney Craig Parrish, petitioned Carnaroli to remove a no-contact order between Prescott, his infant daughter and the daughter’s mother. The request was denied by the judge.
Parrish did not return the Journal’s request for comment on this story.
This past December, two weeks before his case was scheduled for trial, Prescott changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.
In addition to the 10-year prison sentence, Prescott was ordered to pay $245 in fines and prosecutors have 30 days to submit a request for restitution for any expenses the victim or her family incurred.
Parris told the Journal on Wednesday that the 10-year prison sentence somewhat surprised him, but he did not think it was unfair, considering Prescott’s lack of remorse and accountability.
“The judge had all the information in front of him when he sentenced Prescott,” Parris said. “The judge had more information at the time of sentencing than we had when we made the plea deal. So based on what I know about this case, yeah, I think this is a fair and just sentence.”
Robinson told the Journal on Wednesday that her infant daughter is “on track with all her growth and development” and is not expected to have any lingering injuries or developmental roadblocks because of Prescott’s abuse.
“The doctors said she should recover just fine,” Robinson said. “They don’t think she will have any long-term effects at all.”