by: Tom Jones Updated:
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. -
A mother who pleaded guilty to beating her
3-year-old son begged a judge not to put her in jail forever.
Suzie Elie, 24,
pleaded guilty to aggravated assault, family violence, child cruelty and battery. Her admission comes after Douglas County prosecutors said she severely beat her son last November.
Elie told the judge she didn't mean to hurt her son.
"But please your honor, don't put me away for a long time because this was not my intentions. Please, I'm begging
you," she tearfully pleaded with the judge.
Judge David Emerson then sentenced her to 30 years, with 20 years to serve behind bars.
Assistant District Attorney Rachel Ackley told the court that it was cold and rainy last November when Elie took the boy to a wooded area on Ashton Court and began to hit, kick and beat him with a tree limb.
"He had lacerations from his head to his toes," Ackley explained.
She also said Elie dragged the boy through mud, and even though it was cold, he wasn't properly dressed. Ackley said the boy screamed as he was beaten. She said Elie told police she beat the boy because he was disrespectful.
When asked how, Ackley said Elie told police the boy was disrespectful because he woke up crying.
"That's it. A
3-year-old little boy woke up and he cried. And for that he received one of the worst beatings I've ever seen," Ackley said.
Elie had previously said her Haitian upbringing is why she disciplined the child the way she did. But during the plea hearing her attorney said she has mental issues and that played a role in how she acted that night. Elie continued to defend herself before she was sentenced.
"Please, I know I made a mistake. And I took my anger out on him, yes. It
(does) look really bad. It sounds bad," she said.
Elie's son is now in foster care. Her boyfriend, Chad
Louis-Pierre, also faces charges in connection with the attack after police said he participated in the beating.
Louis-Pierre has vehemently denied touching
the boy and said he only went to the wooded area to see where the mother and child had gone.
Soon after Elie pleaded guilty, a jury was chosen for Louis-Pierre's trial on the charges.
Elie is expected to testify that her boyfriend didn't hit the child. But prosecutors said they have a witness who said he did.