THOMASVILLE — A Colquitt County woman was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison and her husband to 40 years after they were found guilty of child abuse, battery and assault charges.
Amanda Chaney, 24, and Colt Chaney, 25, were accused of burning 3-year-old Carson Chaney, his son from a former marriage, in July 2008 and not providing medical care for the injured toddler.
Amanda Chaney was found guilty of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and child cruelty.
Colt Chaney was found guilty of aggravated battery and child cruelty. The jury returned a not-guilty verdict on a charge of aggravated assault.
The Thomas County jury deliberated about four hours Thursday evening. A change of venue to that county was ordered in the case.
After deliberating another three and a half hours Friday they arrived at their decision.
Prior to sentencing the couple, Superior Court Judge James Hardy, a former prosecutor, called the case one of the worst case of child abuse he has encountered in 30 years.
“This child has been scarred for life — physically and mentally,” he said.
Amanda Chaney was sentenced to serve 20 years consecutively on each count, and Colt Chaney was sentenced to two consecutive 20-year sentences.
Hardy also ordered a pre-sentence investigation in the case, which he said could result in some alteration in the sentences.
The sentences handed down were the maximum allowable on each of the counts for which the Chaneys were found guilty.
During the two-and-a-half day trial four physicians testified that the burns to the child’s face, back, abdomen, genitals and left upper thigh could not have been caused by hot water in the shower as claimed by Amanda Chaney.
The burn on the back of the boy’s back was triangular, like the shape of a clothes iron, they said. The other injuries on his body could have been caused by a hot liquid, although not by water from a shower. Facial injuries above his mouth appeared to have been caused by tape being pulled off.
The child also had bruises on his head and a scalp injury. Blood and hair were found in his bed.
Investigators also recovered a number of bloody items in the boy’s bedroom of the couple’s Rosencrantz Road residence, including a pillow, shower curtain, comforter and clothing.
The Chaneys were arrested in August 2008 after babysitter Polly Jarvis called 911. She had been left with Carson and the couple’s youngest son while the couple went to automobile racing in Albany. She testified during the trial that when Carson went to the bathroom and pulled down his underwear he began crying out in pain.
The Chaneys and defense attorneys said that the child had been recovering from the burns with treatment at home and that “something happened” while Jarvis was alone with the children.
Amanda Chaney alleged that Jarvis brought some type of prescription ointment from her house. They also said the blood found in the bed had not been there and Carson was not in severe pain when they left.
During her testimony Jarvis said she told the 911 operator that she put Vaseline on Carson, and after being told that was harmful did not mention that to the deputy who responded to the residence.