OMAHA, Neb. — A judge sentenced a Nebraska man to the equivalent of 42 to 52 years in prison after the defendant repeatedly wrapped a scarf around a 2-year-old’s neck and hanged her several times as she lost and regained consciousness, according to reports.
David J. Coleman was sentenced Tuesday in Omaha for inflicting the stunning abuse on the little girl, Omaha World-Herald reported.
Coleman, 38, was initially charged with attempted murder. However, he eventually pleaded to two counts of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury.
The unconscionable crimes occurred last December and condemning evidence came from Coleman as he filmed himself wrapping a pink scarf around the little girl’s neck on two separate occasions.
Miraculously, the toddler survived the abusive chokings. The mother discovered the alarming videos on her boyfriend’s phone a few days later and notified police, New York Post reported.
In one particular video, the savage man is seen hanging the little girl from a shelving unit as she repeatedly lost consciousness. According to police, the brutality continued for five minutes.
“The victim hanged by the neck, losing the ability to breathe and losing consciousness. The suspect (then) could be seen grabbing her roughly by the chest and lifting her with the ligature still tied to her neck to release pressure just enough to allow her to breathe, gasp, cry and gurgle, before dropping her in a hanging position, again, only to restart the previous cycle,” Omaha Police Detective Alexis Boults wrote in a report.
Another video showed the little girl in her car seat as Coleman wrapped the same pink scarf around her neck.
“The victim can be seen on video turning red and blue in the face,” Boults wrote in the report, adding that the little girl couldn’t even cry at times because the scarf was pulled too tightly.
Douglas County District Judge Duane Dougherty gave Coleman the maximum on the reduced charges to which he pleaded: two counts of child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. Coleman also got four years in prison for being a felon in possession of a knife.
“There was extreme violence here,” Judge Dougherty said in sentencing him. “When someone harms a child that age — or no matter the age — in that nature, it’s as bad as it gets.”
Coleman blamed his barbaric actions on methamphetamine.
He has prior child abuse convictions, including one incident where a child suffered broken bones and burns from a heating pad.
The girl’s mother wrote a victim-impact statement outlining her betrayal and anguish over the incident, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
“It has changed this child’s life in ways we may never know,” Keane said. “How she survived this torture is a mystery. But she did — luckily for her, luckily for her family and luckily for this defendant. Because he would be charged with first-degree murder.”