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Posted on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Man accused of breaking infant son's ribs pleads guilty to child abuse charges

By John Counts


Briton Morrison

Courtesy of WCSO

A 28-year-old Pittsfield Township man who broke several of his infant son's ribs pleaded guilty Thursday to child abuse charges.

Briton Morrison openly wept as he pleaded guilty in Judge David Swartz's courtroom to three charges of second-degree child abuse, which were added in a plea deal. Morrison was originally charged with three counts of first-degree child abuse which will be dismissed at the time of sentencing. He will likely spend between 29 to 57 months in prison, according to the plea agreement. The charge of second-degree child abuse has a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

Police and doctors say Morrison became frustrated and squeezed his son too hard, breaking several ribs, because the boy was constipated.

Prosecutors said the boy, now 5 months old, has recovered.

The plea will affect a second case pertaining to the termination of Morrison's parental rights, attorneys said.

Morrison pleaded guilty to squeezing the boy too hard three separate times, thus the three charges. The abuse happened at a Pittsfield Township apartment in the 3100 block of Woodland Hills.

Morrison was charged in October after an X-ray of the then-2-month-old boy revealed the broken bones and police were sent to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital to investigate.

He will be sentenced on Feb. 28.



Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

Ann23, Whats JUdge Wheelers line? Do you have first hand experience on her record of giving shared custody when it's not in the best interest of the children? I think you need to do some research on her record. I have know knowlege of Judge Connors record on children in foster care. However Judge Wheeler does have a record for dissregarding expert opinions on whats in the best interest of the children.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 12:42 a.m.

Correction, Judge Connors only handled the case of one of my foster nieces. Not those of my other foster niece and nephew.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

But, for us, the line was a very real threat to the lives of my children. I got therapy for my children and myself. The professionals we have seen have confirrmed the abuse of my children by their father. Since then, my children have needed treatment for psychological issues. My daughter has PTSD. But, once the children are safe, good psychological help and therapy can make all the difference in the long run.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

I have first hand experience with Judge Wheeler, when it comes to my own children, and second-hand experience with Judge Connors regarding my foster nieces and nephew. All I can tell you on here is that if you can absolutely prove it, and when you're dealing with an abuser that is no easy task, she will take it very seriously. I was told by a police officer that iPhones are a great tool. Record, photograph and document. But, don't lie and manipulate. It won't only hurt your credability but also the credability of others.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

Have you ever given an adult or child a good hard "bear hug"? It doesn't result in broken ribs. The article said he did it on 3 seperate occasions. I would imagine the baby showed great pain each time and it obviously wouldn't have helped improve the situation or done anything to help the baby. Yet, he did it on 3 seperate occasions. This is not just a case of stupidity. Stupidity should not be used as a valid excuse in cases like this. Also, "The plea will affect a second case pertaining to the termination of Morrison's parental rights, attorneys said.", there is more.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

What's with all these plea deals? This guy should be charged the maximum. I am so tired of people getting off on plea deals with lighter sentences or just a slap on the wrist.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

There are NO options here. Only prayers for this little human survivor. The creature and the female who chose to procreate with him, are both unfit to be parents. All the opinions with emotional and useless psychobabble about giving second chances (he's 28!!!), the need for counseling, don't break up the family (what family?), are so typically mind-boggling, empty and a joke. This is REALITY! Not some reality show! We have a society that supports the unfit having babies, with a system that in turn endangers the young victims even further. This mother should not have custody (she put the baby in harms way three times!) and the sperm donor should be in a prison floating out in the middle of the ocean WITHOUT 3 meals a day, an exercise room and cable. BTW - reality is that this will never happen in this degenerate, no-hope society.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 6:12 p.m.

They better keep him in a cell by himself and away from general population,because when the cons find out what he did,well his stay in prison will be real short. He will pay dearly for his misdeeds

ms 2013

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

i see he got some months he should have 50000000 yrs for hurting a baby

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 3:39 p.m.

better to remove this person from the childs life, thank goodness the child is alive,for a while back, there were a lot of abuse cases keep him away until the child is old enough , if the child wants and chooses he can have an adult relationship with his father for now safety and survival is the key to many times children are re offended


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Yes, and this child deserves more than safety and survival. Also, time to heal and to be raised in a home that is free of violence and abuse. Where he can learn how people and life should be treated with respect and care.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:49 p.m.

Silly Sally, You must be related to Judge Wheeler. Who seems to have the same philosophy that physically or emotionally abusing your family isn't enough to break up a family. That even if there is enough evidence to substantiate that the well being of a child or children are in danger, and dissmisses all the experts recamendations of not allowing joint custody, because (she feels) the children still need 2 parents. Thank god your not a Judge because It's bad enough that there is one Judge that has the right to sentence children to a life of abuse. I hope to god that Judge Wheeler won't be assigned to their case.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 9:39 p.m.

I disagree. Judge Wheeler has a line when it comes to abusing and threatening children and domestic violence. She is cautious and tries very hard to be fair to both parties and follow the law but, she does not tolerate abuse of children or obvious threats to their lives. Especially when weapons are involved and she is presented with substantial evidence. I have much less faith in Judge Connors when it comes to his decisions regarding foster children who have been abused and neglected. And, I also do not agree with Silly Sally. This man is also facing a "second case" which is not detailed in this article. There is more to the story.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

Was he squeezing the child because of the constipation? It seems like some basic parenting classes are needed, not prison.

Chase Ingersoll

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

"Parenting" classes are best taught by a parent who is around to help after their son or daughter has a child. I think it is safe to infer that Briton had very little parenting for 28. Babies are fragile. I think that any man who did not grow up around them is at a significant disadvantage on how to handle the situation when they just scream and nothing you do seems to help.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 1:52 p.m.

For a second, I thought that was a picture of the baby! Poor child, I hope his dad has a turn around and learns to nurture and support him like he should.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

Why are you assuming that the Mother is a bad Mother. She was obviously was part of him terminating his rights to the child.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.

And, how his defense can so easily lead people to blaming her for what he did.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

Silly Sally, it is not as easy as you seem to think for a mother who suspects abuse of her child to make a case to protect the child. The courts tend to want more than "he said, she said," And abusers can be expert manipulators. Look at how this guy's defense is getting strangers on his side. But, we really haven't been given any information about her.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

@Silly Sally must be a perfect mother, or not a mother at all. Did it never occur to you that maybe the mother works or maybe the mother and father are not a couple (maybe I missed that in the article)? Or maybe she, as an inexperienced mother, didn't see the signs, or never would have assumed that the father was injuring the baby. At 2 months old, a lot of infants do not receive any special treatment for constipation. Usually it just means they need some gripe water and/or some tummy massage. Maybe the mother didn't know how to handle it. And so what if she handed him a screaming baby, it's his kid and he should have to deal with the screaming just like her. Why would the father hurting his child be her fault at all? Unfortunately the mother probably felt somewhat at fault after all of this, wondering if there's something she could have done differently. The fact of the matter is you can't change the past and there's always things we could have done differently but hindsight is 20/20. There is no evidence to the point that the mother ever did anything to harm or endanger the child. She had no reason to believe the father would harm the baby and she shouldn't be accused of allowing it to happen based on small mistakes any parent could make.

Silly Sally

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

Two peas in a pod. The baby was squeezed on three separate occasions. Where was she? If the baby was constipated, why did she not discuss his treatment, or no treatment, with the father? Did she hand a screaming baby to him, and then leave? If she was there, how did the father squeeze the baby on 3 separate times?

Silly Sally

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Is prison really the best solution? And breaking up a family. I would suggest keeping him working, and spending some weekends in the county Hogback Jail as a reminder of what he did for the next 5 years. perhaps once a month Then, as a condition of a very long probation, parenting classes, which he and most likely the boys mother desperately need. This should be an ongoing for years. I doubt that he intended to break his sons ribs. What he did was awful and stupid. Others may have given the boy a reduced dosage of an adult laxative, which might have been even worse. Is jail the answer for everything? He will get out and the boy will still have tow very ignorant parents, or worse, be in the foster care program, shuffled from home to home.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

Also, there are very good foster parents out there who genuienly love the children put in their care and would like nothing more than to adopt them and give them the best home possible. The problems are the judges who don't really care and have little knowledge of the psychology involved, the overworked caseworkers, and a conflict in our society that enables two extremes. There are those who are overly judgemental of good parents, parents who care for and don't abuse their children, who make their children a priority and look for the best, safest way they can to help them through whatever obstacles come up. And, those who accept and make excuses for behaviors that cause obvious harm to children and are abusive. The trick is knowing the difference.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 10:10 p.m.

Yes, breaking up a family that is violent and abusive towards the most innocent is appropriate. Then there is a better chance of the cycle being broken and more hope for the future of the innocent.

Jojo B

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

@mgoscottie -- While I don't agree with Silly Sally's opinion, I fail to see anything "racist" about it.

Dan r OBryan

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

Really sally do you have children? You don't ever harm a child so yes he deserves jail! more time then what he got!


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

Yes, Sally, prison is a very good solution for people who hurt the helpless. He has to be taught that what he did is not only terribly wrong, but against the law, and at the same time he needs to be kept away from this poor child. I really doubt that this is the first time his son was punished. He is in need of parenting classes, but within the confines of prison walls.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

This is so sad. Children are so helpless.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

Who would give a thumbs down for this statement? Obviously friends of this person! Think about that when you grow up!