PIQUA — A Piqua man accused of leaving a child in an unheated, detached garage in January along with shooting the child with a BB gun will serve two months in jail.
Richard T. Bryant Jr., 42, was sentenced to serve 60 days in jail for first-degree misdemeanor child endangering and first-degree misdemeanor assault on Wednesday in Miami County Municipal Court. Bryant was found guilty of those charges in June following a bench trial presided over by Miami County Municipal Court Judge Samuel Huffman.
Bryant was charged in January after a third-party caller reported hearing a child screaming for help and to be let inside because he was cold at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 27 on the 300-block of Third Street in Piqua. Following an investigation, the Piqua Police Department found a child, who was reportedly 6 years old, had been locked in a “detached, unheated, garage as a form of punishment,” according to police reports. Bryant was also charged for shooting the child with a BB gun because the child urinated his pants.
“He shows no remorse for his actions,” Piqua City Prosecutor Frank Patrizio said about Bryant on Wednesday, asking for the maximum penalty possible and calling Bryant’s actions “disgusting.”
Bryant’s attorney Hillary Fry asked for a lenient sentence for Bryant, saying Bryant was not in a caretaker role at the time of the incident.
Bryant denied being guilty, saying, “I’ve never hurt a kid a day in my life … that’s just not me.” Bryant said the victim was not in the garage when police were called, but was inside watching television.
Huffman noted Bryant’s “lack of remorse” and referred to evidence in the case, including body camera footage from the Piqua Police Department and testimony from the victim’s mother.
Huffman sentenced Bryant to serve 60 days in jail for both charges to be served concurrently. Huffman also suspended an additional 120 days of jail time under the condition that Bryant not receive any criminal charges in the next five years. Huffman also imposed a $50 fine for each count. Bryant was also ordered to have no unsupervised contact with minors for five years.
Heather M. Behm, 38, of Piqua, was also charged with child endangering, drug-related offenses, and obstructing official business in connection with this incident, but her charges were transferred over the Miami County Common Pleas Court and then dismissed.
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