No one said that being a parent is easy. Children can be incessantly needy and sometimes all someone wants is a break away from the crying and begging and temper tantrums. It can take every ounce of self-possession to keep your cool and not yell or strike a child unnecessarily. But some parents cannot hold back their rage. But few are as brutal as the Maryland man who pleaded guilty to beating his son to death because he was crying. However, that wasn’t even the worst of his offense. He then hid the infant’s dead body in the back of a hearse for hours before finally burying the boy’s tiny body in a shallow grave behind a high school.
Antoine Petty, 32, pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse resulting in the death of his 2-month-old son last September. The guilty plea is a victory for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney office.
Prosecutors laid out the case. When the infant started crying, Petty’s wife did everything she could to calm the baby boy. She tried feeding him, changing his diaper, rocking him, singing to him. Nothing worked. It was frustrating to say the least, but Petty decided to use corporal punishment on the tiny child.
Court documents detail how Petty ended the baby’s life. He grabbed the infant by both tiny arms and the punched and punched and punched, desperately trying to get the baby to stop crying. But the abuse only made the baby wail louder.
He took the 2-month old outside where he continued to punch the baby. Blood started flowing from the child’s nose and mouth but the baby’s father didn’t care. He continued his ruthless assault. The child instantly showed signs of quieting which made the father happy. He felt like he had won. But not much later, the 2-month old died.
Terrified that they would get in trouble, Petty and the baby’s other, 24-year-old Geneice Petty, hid the baby’s corpse in the 1998 Lincoln town car hearse.
For 24 hours, Petty waited for the perfect moment to dispose of his son’s body. He later drove to a wooded area and dug a shallow grave for the infant near the Parkdale High School. They buried the baby on September 22.
A month later, the infant’s body was found. Relatives had reported him missing. Investigators only found the infant’s shallow grave after they interviewed the parents.
Now Petty faces up to 40-years in prison. Meanwhile, his wife, Geneice is awaiting trial for involuntary manslaughter and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder charges. The prosecutors have no pity for the murderers and plan to seek maximum justice for the murdered infant.
“His actions were so incredibly heinous that he deserves every day of that prison sentence,” Gina Ford, a spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office said. “This was a defenseless 2-month-old child … Rather than consoling his son he takes his son and beats him.”
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