439 months for serial child abuser | News
An accused serial child abuser will be a senior citizen before he's done serving his sentence.
James Cooley was sentenced to 436 months in prison Monday for killing one child and assaulting two others.
In 2010, Cooley attacked three different children. In May, he shook a baby so violently, the child suffered brain damage. Then in September, he beat a 1-year-old to death and assaulted the boy's older brother while their mother was running errands. Cooley left without telling their mother what he had done.
"I noticed from the doorway I didn't see his stomach moving. His body was covered with his blanket," said the boy's mother Rebecca McCollough.
Once in custody, Cooley admitted assaulting all three children. He even apologize Monday in court for his actions.
By pleading guilty, Cooley hopes he's sparing the victims' families the pain of testifying during trial.
"We are recommending 439 months in prison in the hopes that in some way we have a measure of accountability for the community, provide safety for the community but in no way can it make up for the harm that Mr. Cooley has done," said Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Johnson.
The judge agreed with that sentence and sent Cooley to prison for the next 36 years. That sentence is longer than the standard range for murder.
"He has put a lot of pain into this family. He's done a lot of damage not just to this family, but the extended family as well and I hope he remembers faces," said William McCreight, the stepfather of one of the victims. "I hate this man, more than I've hated anybody."