RICHMOND, Utah, March 7, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A Cache County man has been jailed on suspicion of child abuse charges after police say he fired a pellet gun at two children.
Joshua Glen Cox, 43, was charged with child abuse — infliction of serious physical abuse intentionally, a second-degree felony; and with child abuse involving a physical injury, a class A misdemeanor, in the Feb. 24 incident.
An additional charge of witness tampering, a third-degree felony, was added on March 2 after Cox allegedly contacted the mother of the injured children regarding a child protective order, and stated that “you could drop it, say you were coerced into saying what you said, or whatever,” a probable cause statement says.
Officers spoke with the complainant, who said that Cox had abused her children frequently, and it was common for them to have marks and bruises. She told officers that Cox often threw boots and other objects at them, and hit them in the head with his knuckles.
The complainant’s mother told officers that a week previous, Cox had shot one of the children with a pellet gun, leaving the boy injured, the probable cause statement says.
The grandmother showed officers cellphone photos of her grandson’s injuries from that incident, including welts on his chest. She also showed photos of her granddaughter with welts on her face, on her forehead and near her eye.
The children’s mother “stated that Joshua was upset because the children had woken him up and he shot them with the airsoft gun. (She) stated that she took the airsoft gun and discarded it so that he cannot hurt the children with it anymore.”
Cox was located elsewhere on the property. Post Miranda, he was asked to explain how he “disciplined” the children.
“He stated that on occasions he spanks the children and they are out of hand,” the statement says. “Joshua stated that (the children’s mother) is the main one that disciplines the children.
“I asked Joshua specifically about the airsoft incident,” the statement says. “Joshua admitted that he had shot the children with an airsoft gun. He stated that they were messing around at a friend’s house when this occurred. I asked Joshua where he shot the children at and he stated that he had shot them on the legs. I asked Joshua if he ever shot the children in the face or chest and he stated that he had not.
“I informed Joshua that I had photographs of this and he stated that he cannot remember shooting them in the face.”
Bail for Cox was set at $11,950 for the first two charges, and $2,500 for the subsequent witness-tampering charge. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday.