baby wyattHOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (4/2/18) — A 23-year-old Madisonville man stood between his attorney and the prosecutor as Hopkins Circuit Judge James Brantley handed down the defendant’s formal sentence of eight years in court today.

Bobby D. Rushing previously pleaded guilty to second-degree assault for injuring infant Wyatt Hill, who was 8-months old at the time. The baby boy was severely injured Sept. 20, 2016, while in the care of Rushing. He was initially charged with first-degree assault. Rushing was represented by attorney Mark Wells.

Rushing said to the judge, “I hope he recovers greatly … I would never hurt a child,” before he was led from the courtroom to be taken to jail.

The mother, Shelby Hill, was holding 2-year-old Wyatt in the courtroom during the final sentencing today. Hill said she was in the shower, when her then boyfriend, Rushing, shook the baby, causing severe injury to Wyatt in 2016.

The toddler was alert and somewhat vocal today, but unable to walk on his own or speak words typical of a child his age.

“He still can’t hold his head up, and he takes several therapies for his vision,” Shelby said. “Doctors said all he’d ever be able to do is breathe.”

Forensic evidence at Louisville Kosairs Children’s Hospital indicated Wyatt’s injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Kathy Senter said she and the family would prefer that Rushing received a longer sentence, adding, “The family wanted some closure.”

The Hill family embraced outside the courtroom following the sentencing.

“He was sentenced to eight years,” the mother said. “Wyatt is serving a life sentence.”


Doreen Dennis
SurfKY News Director
Region 2

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