A Joplin man accused of breaking the leg of his infant son entered a guilty plea to an amended charge on Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court and is set for sentencing on Aug. 26.
David W. Gordon had been charged with felony abuse of his 6-week-old son, but as part of a deal approved by Judge Gayle Crane, Gordon pleaded guilty to second-degree domestic assault, a Class D felony.
Gordon's case had been scheduled for trial Wednesday.
The defendant was 24 years old when he was accused of breaking the leg of his infant son on Oct. 5, 2017, but it was not until the night of Oct. 6 that the baby was brought to the emergency room of Mercy Hospital Joplin for treatment. That is when police were notified that the hospital was treating the boy for injuries consistent with child abuse.
The fracture discovered in his lower left leg was described in a probable-cause affidavit as "a pressure break," and police Capt. Trevor Duncan told the Globe at the time that in addition to the broken leg doctors had noted other injuries consistent with child abuse.
The baby was transferred to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City for treatment before being released and temporarily placed in foster care while police and state child abuse investigators looked further into the case. A 2-year-old sibling also has been removed from the custody of the parents and temporarily placed in foster care.
A sentencing assessment report to be conducted by the Board of Probation and Parole is due Aug. 19.