NWGA Scanner | March 8th, 2022

Rock Spring man given 20-year sentence after being convicted of throwing infant, breaking 22 bones and fracturing skull

Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Catoosa County, GA —A 35-year-old Rock Spring, Georgia man, Michael Neal Stewart, was given a 20-year sentence in the Superior Court of Catoosa County, with the first 18 years to be served in the Georgia Department of Corrections. On March 2, he plead guilty to the charge of Cruelty to Children in the First Degree, with no plea agreement from the District Attorney. On July 14, 2021, an unemployed Stewart was home with his seven-week-old son. The child’s mother had just returned to work from her maternity leave. Stewart threw his baby across his bedroom, breaking a total of 22 bones in the infants body. Stewart fractured the child’s skull, multiple vertebrae, and both of the child’s legs. Sentencing was argued before Judge Ralph Van Pelt. The victim’s mother, grandmother, and Ringgold Police Departrnent Detective Daniel King testified on behalf of the State of Georgia. The State was represented by Assistant District Attomey Deanna Reisman. Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Amt described Stewart’s actions as cowardly and despicable. “We would like to have been able to seek even more prison time in this case but recent decisions from the Supreme Court of Georgia have greatly hampered prosecutions that occur in a single act of child abuse even when multiple injuries are caused,” said Amt. The charge of Cruelty to Chilthen in the First Degree carries a possible punishment of 5-20 years. District Attomey Amt noted that, “Even in a situation like this where the defendant admits his guilt, my office put in a tremendous amount of effort to investigate and prepare this case so we could prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.” Arnt further stated that he was pleased with the substantial prison sentence imposed by Judge Van Pelt in this case. “I hope the victim has a full recovery and the rest of the family can put their lives back together and move on from this terrible crime.”