Man sentenced for shaking infant son

TACOMA — The Pierce County prosecutor says a 19-year-old man has been sentenced to 16 1/2 years in prison for violently shaking his 7-day-old son, severely injuring the boy.

Joshua Sullivan pleaded guilty last month to first-degree child assault.

He was sentenced Friday. Prosecutors had sought an exceptional sentence of 20 years.

Court records show Sullivan was awakened at about 3 a.m. on May 23 by the crying infant. He went to check on the boy but became frustrated because the baby kept “fussing.” Prosecutors say he shook his son as he carried him up and down stairs, causing the infant’s head to hit the wall.

The baby was taken to a hospital a few hours later and underwent emergency brain surgery.

Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said the child appears to be recovering but the full effect of the assault won’t be known for years.

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