Dad on trial for child abuse pleads guilty after son’s testimony

Source: CBS

A shocking decision was made Tuesday from a Michigan father on trial for child abuse.

It was supposed to be a day full of testimony in day one of the trial into James and Tina Harbert, until a bombshell dropped.

James Harbert pleaded guilty to three counts of child abuse and admitted to abusing his two sons.

Prosecutor: Intentionally, with enough force to cause him harm to his buttocks?

Harbert: Yes. Not every time, but yes.

Harbert entered the plea during a break in one of his son's testimony, saying he didn't want to make his children go through the emotional testimony.

The boy, ow 12-years-old, told the court about the severe beatings he'd get from his parents with 2x4’s, pipes, and dog leashes.

One beating was so bad he spent 11 days in the hospital.

The parents, who are from Spring Arbor, were arrested nearly two years ago after the boy's grandparents noticed the abuse.

The trial against James Harbert is now over, but the case against Tina Harbert continues.

“Tina Harbert not only did nothing to help her boys, she lied to medical professionals about their injuries. She covered it up and she participated in beating the boys,” the prosecutor said.

During testimony, her son claimed while she wasn't as rough on him as his father, she didn't do anything to stop the abuse.

Her defense said Tina Harbert was a victim too under the control of her husband and was forced to abuse them.

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