Joseph Anthony Brooks, 29, of Port Charlotte, was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison for Aggravated Child Neglect, followed by 5 years of probation. He was also sentenced to 5 years in prison for one count of Child Abuse, to be served concurrently. He was found guilty in August following a trial in Charlotte County.
On February 20, 2020, Brooks was babysitting a 6-month-old child and while in his care, the child stopped breathing. Instead of calling 911, the defendant called the child’s mother. She called her sister who was nearby, who rushed the child to the hospital.
Doctors discovered the baby had recent abusive head trauma. The defendant had been watching the child for a couple of months, at numerous times.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit handled the investigation, which led to the arrest of the defendant.
Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Garczewski, Charlotte County Felony Chief, and Assistant State Attorney Alexa Lipham prosecuted the case.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office