Child abuse charges dropped against Smithfield man

Felony child abuse charges were dropped Tuesday against Justin Collett, whose 16-day-old son was taken to the hospital with head trauma in November. Collett had been watching his son while his wife wasn’t home. Originally, Collett told police the baby had fallen off of a bed. Medical experts had told police they doubted the infant’s injuries were accidental, and Collett was arrested. Later, Collett admitted he had accidentally dropped the infant and then lied to officers. Instead, the Smithfield man will be sentenced for obstruction of justice, a class A misdemeanor, on March 13. The dropped charge of inflicting serious physical injury on a child intentionally would have been a second degree felony. The maximum penalty for the obstruction of justice misdemeanor is up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. –

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