Man sentenced to 64 years in child abuse case
A Madison, Ind., man will spend 64 years in prison after what prosecutors call “one of the worst documented cases of child abuse in Jefferson County.”
Thirty-six-year-old Christopher Keller was sentenced on Dec. 18. He will serve 16 years consecutively for four charges of aggravated battery.
Keller beat his step-son over an 11-hour period back in spring, prosecutors said. The boy’s mother found the child severely injured when she returned home from work. Keller tried to explain the injuries to the mother, saying he was injured while rough-housing with other kids. Court records show he was missing a chunk of hair and had bruises all over his body. His mother immediately took him to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis for treatment. Doctors said the child suffered compression fractures to the spine from the beating.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigated and arrested Keller after the mother called the Department of Child Services. During the investigation, the sheriff’s office obtained a tape containing more than 100 videos of Keller abusing the child. Court records indicate the videos show the man forcing the child’s head into the couch, placing much of his body weight on the child and suffocating him for 40 seconds. The child can be seen writhing, attempting to breathe. Other videos show hitting, kicking, or tackling the child. Videos show him dragging the child across the couch by his hair, even holding him upside down by holding one leg, causing his head to hit the floor violently multiple times, prosecutors said.
“The video, though extremely difficult to watch, documents the multiple instances of abuse over a more than 11-hour period,” prosecutor David Sutter said in a Facebook post. “I want to thank my Chief Deputy Prosecutor, Blaine Goode, for his efforts in pinpointing exactly which of these could yield the maximum penalty in this case and I am grateful we were able to achieve the maximum sentence today.”
Added Goode: “Maximum sentences are to be reserved for the worst of the worst offenders, and the torturous acts that the Court witnessed on the video today are the worst of the worst.”
Keller has been in the Indiana Department of Corrections since July 29. He will not be able to appeal his sentence per his plea agreement.