Philadelphia man pleads guilty in assault over newborn's name

Posted: February 16, 2013

Two days after the birth of their child should have been a happy time for Richard L. Davis Jr. and his girlfriend.

Instead, Davis and the unidentified woman disagreed about what to name the baby. Davis got upset and assaulted the woman while she was still at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood with their newborn.

On Wednesday, Davis, 23, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to simple assault. Montgomery County Judge Joseph A. Smyth sentenced him to eight-to-23 months in prison and ordered him to undergo domestic violence counseling.

Davis was holding the baby on Jan. 15, 2012, when he got violent and pushed a rolling table into the woman, who was sitting in a chair, authorities said. He then pushed her repeatedly, at some point putting the baby down in a crib, and punched the woman twice in the face.

"It's outrageous conduct," said Wallis Brooks, the Montgomery County assistant district attorney who leads that office's domestic violence unit.

"Just the mere fact that Mr. Davis pled guilty acknowledges his acceptance of responsibility for his actions," said court-appointed attorney Greg Nester.

Beth Sturman, executive director of Laurel House, which provides domestic violence support services in Montgomery County, said she had never heard of a dispute over baby names being the trigger for domestic violence but, she said, such violence often occurs during pregnancies.


Contact Carolyn Davis at 610-313-8109, cdavis@phillynews.com, or @carolyntweets on Twitter.

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