Man pleads guilty to beating infant

X-rays found extensive injuries
Aug. 12, 2014 @ 08:04 AM

A man who authorities say bit the face and broke the bones of his 3-and-a-half-month-old daughter pleaded guilty Monday to felony intentional child abuse causing serious injury.

Justin Paige Shoemake, 22, of Free Mason Road in Baton was arrested Aug. 25, 2012, the day after he was accused of choking the girl and biting her on the lip and face. The girl was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, where X-rays showed she had suffered as many as 11 fractures to the ribs, arms and legs, and a skull fracture, assistant district attorney Nancy Lee said.

After that incident, the girl's mother, Tiffany Jones, also told investigators that on May 8, 2012, Shoemake choked the girl until she turned blue as he held her against his chest, Lee said.

Shoemake has spent 15 months in solitary confinement for his own safety, his attorney, Bruce Cannon, told the court before sentencing. Cannon said in an interview later that he didn't know of any specific threats against Shoemake by other inmates at the county jail, but solitary confinement was a precaution because of the nature of the charges against Shoemake.

Shoemake was sentenced to 80-108 months in prison and ordered to have a mental health evaluation. He also was forbidden from having contact with the victim.

The child was placed in foster care and has since been adopted.