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Scott County dad sentenced for allowing baby's abuse

Rain Smith • Updated Feb 28, 2018 at 11:52 AM

GATE CITY — A Weber City man will serve time in prison for failing to intervene in his wife’s abuse of their infant, which ultimately left the 2-month-old with 23 broken ribs, a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

Luke Aaron Stallard, 22, and his wife, Summer S. Stallard, 21, were indicted in May of last year. Summer Stallard later pleaded guilty to five counts related to child abuse and neglect. In January she was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 16 suspended.

On Tuesday in Scott County Circuit Court, Luke Stallard was sentenced to 15 years for child neglect, with 13 years and five months suspended. Following his effective 19-month sentence, and his wife’s four years behind bars, neither can have contact with their child. Each will also serve five years on probation.

Luke Stallard had no prior criminal record and reportedly cooperated in the case against his wife, testifying how she had abused their baby and admitting he should have done more to protect the child. The case was investigated by Scott County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Chris Holder and J.T. Gillenwater in conjunction with the Scott County Department of Social Services.

The victim’s severe injuries were inflicted by Summer Stallard over multiple occasions and included symptoms of shaken baby syndrome.

“The court followed and cited the state guidelines’ recommendation as the reason for Luke’s sentence,” said Dan Fellhauer, Scott County chief deputy commonwealth’s attorney. “We were heartbroken by the decision in Summer’s case, and we’re disappointed that the guidelines were so low in Luke’s case. However, we are satisfied that both have been convicted for their roles, are going to serve prison time, and can have no contact with the child even after they’re released.”

The victim, now about 18 months old, is with foster parents who have cared for him since his release from the hospital. Fellhauer says the toddler is growing, doing well and receiving “exceptional care and love.”

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