Blevins Sentenced to Eight Years in Jail

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A young father, who was arrested on allegations of physically abusing his infant son received an 8-year prison term Monday morning.

Dakota Blevins, 21, of Jefferson Furnace Road, Oak Hill, appeared in Jackson County Common Pleas Court on December 23, at 10:30 a.m., where he was sentenced to the maximum of eight years in jail. 

Blevins’ charges date back to Tuesday, March 12, when the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office received allegations that a 4-month-old baby had been physically abused.

According to the report by doctors, the injuries the baby sustained were not an accident.

The infant had been flown to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, where doctors reported that the injuries were consistent with what is known as “shaken baby syndrome.”

Blevins had been the caretaker for the day while the infant’s mother and grandparents were at work.

Blevins admitted to officers that he had “shaken” the infant, before throwing the infant into a crib with force.

Blevins furthermore admitted that he had put his hand over the infant’s mouth and nose for over a minute because the baby was crying.

Blevins was then charged with child endangerment, a second-degree felony, with the results of serious physical harm.

He was jailed in the Jackson County Correctional Facility, arraigned on March 21, in Jackson County Municipal Court and indicted by the Jackson County Grand Jury in April.

In September, Blevins pled guilty to a second degree felony charge of child endangerment.

During that time, Jackson County Common Pleas Court Judge Christopher J. Regan ordered that a Pre-sentence Investigation (PSI) be done by SEPTA. 

After the PSI was completed the sentencing date was set.

Blevins sentence hearing was held on Monday morning with the victim's mother saying a few words.

"He loved Dakota so much… When he would walk in the room our son's eyes would light up," stated Jessica Brady.

"Even to this day, I have old pictures from over the years. He will grab the pictures and ask, 'who's that?' and I don't know how to explain to him… That's your father, that's the reason why we have to go through everything that we go through.'"

Brady added, "He is truly a miracle to me. After everything that has happened, this changed our lives completely."

"At this point the court is ready to pass sentence," stated Jackson County Common Pleas Court Judge Chris Regan.

"The court finds the injuries more severe because of the child's age… The child suffered serious physical harm. The child suffered that harm because you had access to the child, you're the child's father. The diagnosis was one of abusive head trauma."

According to Regan, the 4-month-old child also had severe and extensive bruising as well as has suffered from seizures.

"These seizures require ongoing treatment," stated Regan.

"The court would note review of the medical records that this child has also stopped breathing on more than one occasion."

Regan added, "The doctor testified that the seizure active is a result of the head injury. All of which you caused… No one else, you did this. You savaged a young child, not only a young child, but your child. This is the most brutal injuries that I've seen on a child in 26 years of my practice. This is horrific."

"Is your remorse genuine?," asked Regan.

"I notice from the medical records that you gave a variety of stories while at the hospital… Everyone of the stories you gave was false. They are there, in the hospital, trying to help your child and you're actively working against that with your false stories… I don't find that you have shown genuine remorse in this."

Regan stated, "After viewing all of the factors and evidences… I am going to sentence you to eight years in prison."

Upon Blevins's release from prison he maybe required to serve a period of post-release control. He could be returned to prison for up to nine months for each violation.

Regan also ordered that Blevins is prohibited from owning/possessing a firearm. 

Blevins will have to pay cost of prosecuting and jury fees.

If he fails to pay those costs under a schedule approved by the court, he maybe ordered to perform community service up to 40 hours per month until the cost are paid in full. 

Now, Blevins does have the right to appeal the court's decision within 30 days of the sentencing entry.