Robert Earl

James City father convicted of child abuse

James City father convicted of child abuse

WILLIAMSBURG — A James City man whom police say stuck his finger down his baby's throat in February was convicted Tuesday on a felony child abuse charge.

After more than two hours of deliberation. the jury of nine women and three men found Robert Earl Haas IV, 27, guilty on the sole felony count. The members returned a sentencing recommendation of 21/2 years in prison and a $1,000 fine less than 15 minutes later.

Over the course of the nearly eight hour trial, defense attorney Patrick Bales argued the Feb. 8 incident was a first-aid attempt gone wrong. He said at closing that Haas had "perfect intentions and imperfect actions" when he believed his daughter was...