Johns Creek dad gets 10 years in jail for severely injuring baby

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

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FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - A Johns Creek man will spend ten years in prison after admitting he severely injured his infant daughter.

Gregory Barnett admits to the January attack, but his attorney said he was too drunk to remember exactly what happened.

Barnett's ex-girlfriend, Courtney Johnson, told a judge the incident left her daughter Rylee severely brain-damaged and developmentally disabled.

"I know in the back of my mind, she might not ever sit up," a tearful Johnson told the judge Monday. "My daughter may never crawl, she may never walk, never feed herself. Might never say the word mama."

Prosecutors said the attack happened after an argument between Johnson and Barnett in their Johns Creek home.

Johnson said she left the home for her own safety, and when she returned she could sense something was terribly wrong.

"I got to her, scooped her up in my arms, and I just knew this wasn't an accident," she said. "I screamed at him to tell me what he had done. All he remember is he kept saying the same thing over and over again: 'I can't get her to stop crying.'"

Barnett didn't address the court, but his former mother-in-law did on his behalf, telling Judge Christopher Brasher that Barnett was abused as a child and had become depressed after his first wife passed away.

"Him and my daughter were that much in love, and he just started drinking," said Kelly. "That's what ended up making him the man (he was) that night, was alcohol."

Kelly pleaded for mercy and said Barnett isn't the "monster he's being made to be" in the courtroom.

"The real Greg is loving. He would never, ever intentionally hurt a child," she said. "I know for a fact he would die for his children."

Brasher called Barnett's actions "selfish and foolish" and sentenced him to 10 years in prison, plus 10 years of probation.