Youngstown man gets 27-year sentence for beating son
By Joe Gorman
The more he spoke at his sentencing after being convicted of beating and whipping his 4-year-old son, Wesley Triplett dug himself a hole that was getting deeper and deeper.
Even Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court warned him Thursday to quit talking, as Triplett, 30, apologized for the injuries his son suffered and lamented the fact he did not do more to prevent them.
It took a jury only 40 minutes Tuesday to conclude Triplett did inflict beatings, fractures and whippings on a son he knew only for four months.
“You make it worse by saying this stuff,” Judge Krichbaum said. “Honest to God, you make it worse.”
Triplett, of Dearborn Avenue, was sentenced to the maximum sentence allowable, 27 years in prison, after a jury found him guilty of felony counts of domestic violence and endangering children.
Jennifer McLaughlin, an assistant county prosecutor, told the judge Triplett denied being the boy’s father for most of the boy’s life until December, when he had custody of the boy.
The boy was with him only four months before the county Children Services learned of his injuries and Triplett was charged and arrested, McLaughlin said.
“This child certainly suffered at the hands of this defendant for four months, the only four months this defendant had contact with him,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin asked for the maximum sentence possible for Triplett because of the severity of the boy’s injuries and also because he has past convictions for misdemeanor and felony domestic violence.
Patty Amendolea of Children Services told the judge the boy had a burn on his elbow that may leave a permanent scar, fractured ribs, a fractured elbow and his back was covered with welts from being whipped with a cord.
Amendolea said the boy’s elbow fracture has healed, adding he is a “sweetheart of a boy. He’s very lovable.”
She said he often asks, “Miss Patty, why did daddy hurt me?”
Triplett said he was sorry his son was hurt, but he said he has four other kids, and they all love him and that he is a good father,
“I’m a teddy bear to my kids,” Triplett said. “My kids love their daddy.”
Triplett said he was afraid if he reported the abuse his son would be taken away from him, but Judge Krichbaum said he did not believe him.
“I don’t know if I’ve witnessed anything more vicious or sadistic or brutal than these injuries,” Judge Krichbaum said. “He lived in a chamber of horrors. What a life he must’ve led.”
“I should’ve done more sir,” Triplett replied. “I could never do nothing like this to my kids, man.”
The judge said Triplett’s words were hollow, however.
“I’m sorry we ever met,” Judge Krichbaum said. “This is one of the darkest days in my life meeting you.”