GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — During the sentencing hearing for a man convicted of assaulting the teenage mother of his children, a judge called the beating one of the most severe he has ever seen.
Tuesday, Kent County Circuit Court Judge Donald Johnston ordered Adam Phillips to spend between 17.5 and 70 years in prison for the beating of 18-year-old Elizabeth Batchelder.
The assault happened in Grand Rapids on Nov. 5, 2013 after Phillips and Batchelder argued over some pictures he discovered on her cellphone. Phillips then grabbed Batchelder by the hair and beat her.
At the time, she was seven months pregnant with their second child. Their first child was within view.
Batchelder suffered multiple broken bones and a traumatic brain injury.
“I am human, and humans make mistakes,” Phillips said when given the opportunity to speak during Tuesday’s hearing.
Phillips rambled on about what he did, at one point proclaiming, “This ain’t who I am.”
But he eventually took responsibility for the beating.
“I just want to apologize to Elizabeth and to her family and to everyone who got hurt over this matter,” Phillips told the judge.
Batchelder’s brain injury has prevented her from remembering the beating. But her family does remember that day, and the eight months leading up to Tuesday’s sentencing.
“She went through a lot and she’s still recovering,” Batchelder’s aunt Jeannie Dood said. “She’s certainly not back to normal, but we thank God she’s here. She’s still Elizabeth.”
Batchelder did not feel comfortable talking to reporters Tuesday, but stood by family members as they reacted to the sentencing.
“The kids will be grown and won’t have to deal with a father like that,” Batchelder ‘s grandmother Joanne Smith said. “Nobody can get hurt again. He was a mean person. I don’t care how good they said he was. He was always a mean person to her. He beat her twice. Once when she was pregnant the first time, and then again this time. I don’t have anything more to say. I can’t say any more.”
While Batchelder has struggled to overcome injuries from the beating, her then-unborn child survived and is now a healthy 3-month-old.
“He’s amazing. I can’t say he’s anything less than an angel, a miracle from God,” Dood said.