22-Year Prison Term for Fairfield Father Who Bit Off Infant Son's Nose

A Fairfield man accused of biting off part of his one-month-old son's nose was sentenced in Solano County Superior Court on Monday to more than 22 years in prison.

Joshua Cooper, 20, was charged with seven felony counts that include child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury and aggravated mayhem, his attorney Tommy Barrett said.

Cooper pleaded no contest in February to five of the child abuse charges. The mayhem charge, which carried a possible seven years-to-life prison term, was dismissed, Barrett said.

Judge Wendy Getty sentenced Cooper to 22 years and four months in prison.

Barrett said Cooper's behavior in the apartment he shared with the boy's 16-year-old mother on March 13, 2014, "appeared to be an aberration."

"It was an incident by a young, overwhelmed parent who otherwise was a loving dad," Barrett said. "He has no history of violence and is incredibly remorseful."

The baby boy's mother was in a bathroom at the Alaska Avenue apartment at the time the baby was injured. Cooper appeared to be having a seizure and had a dazed look when the baby's mother re-entered the room, Barrett said.

"He was in some kind of shock immediately afterward and he admitted the assault the same day," Barrett said.

The boy's mother had substance abuse problems and her parental rights were later terminated, Barrett said.

Fairfield police said a hysterical female called the Police Department around 8:10 a.m. to report the infant's head was bleeding.

The infant was taken to NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield and then transferred to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland.

The investigation determined about one-third of the infant's nose was severed and the baby also suffered a skull fracture and a brain hemorrhage, police said.

Solano County Deputy District Attorney Terry Ray had not returned phone calls by mid-afternoon today for a comment on the sentence.

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