York man who slapped infant avoids prison
A York City man who is "utterly remorseful" about assaulting his 7-week-old son has avoided more prison time but must continue with treatment and be closely supervised by county probation officers.
Shannon Del Price, 26, formerly of North George Street, pleaded guilty Thursday in York County Court to simple assault. In exchange, charges of aggravated assault and child endangerment were dropped.
Price was sentenced to four years of intensive probation and ordered to continue with treatment, court records state. He served 89 days in prison before being released on bail, according to court records.
Price will have supervised visitation with his son until York County's dependency court says he can have more contact, according to his attorney, first assistant public defender Clasina Houtman.
"Shannon is very sorry for ever having done anything to hurt his child, but he has been addressing all his problems and is working diligently with (the York County Office of) Children, Youth and Families to be the father his son needs," Houtman said.
'Utterly remorseful': She said her client loves his son and is utterly remorseful about assaulting him.
Price's baby suffered severe bruises in January when Price slapped his face because he was frustrated the baby wouldn't stop crying, according to court documents.
One of Price's family members took the baby to the hospital, where police were notified, and Price eventually confessed, documents state.
Custody of the infant was given to Price's parents, Houtman said in March when Price waived his right to a preliminary hearing on the case.
She said in March that he's "doing everything he possibly can to get custody of his son back," including taking parenting classes and moving into a recovery house to address substance-abuse issues.
Houtman called the case "a huge wake-up call" for Price.
'He wants this': Deputy prosecutor Diana Spurlin previously told The York Dispatch that the baby would fully recover, and that the prosecution was focused on making sure Price's baby is safe now and in the future — which is part of the reason the prosecution wanted to work with Price on his issues.
"He wants this. He wants to be a good father to his child," Spurlin said.
She said she postponed agreeing to a resolution in the case earlier because "I didn't feel he had made enough progress."
Price suffered a relapse at one point but got himself back on track and continued working with Children, Youth and Families to be reunited with his son, she said.
"He's been testing clean ... and I'm hopeful he'll continue to improve," Spurlin said. "He looks like a different person than he did at his preliminary hearing."
Price's intensive probation will last for four years, "so if something were to change or go awry, we have the option to resentence him, or even send him upstate, should a judge think that's appropriate," Spurlin said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com.