FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday for what the judge called the “mind-boggling,” fatal abuse of a 2-year-old boy who was whipped with a belt, kicked, shaken, slammed against kitchen cabinets and forced to brush his teeth with a steel barbecue brush.
Raymond Matthew Brittle, a 40-year-old laborer from Thurmont, stood mute at his sentencing after defense attorney Margaret Teahan portrayed him as a dim-witted alcoholic whose bottled-up rage at his own abusive father had exploded in an uncharacteristic fit of violence.
Frederick County Circuit Judge G. Edward Dwyer didn’t buy that argument. He cited statements from Brittle’s own adolescent son that Brittle began beating Robert Watkins weekly after the boy moved into their home in early 2013. The frequency increased to at least once a day in the month before Robert died from devastating brain injuries on Sept. 8, 2013, the boy told police.