Grandfather takes stand in couple's abuse trial

Date: 1996-06-11

Grandfather takes stand in couple's abuse trial

June 11, 1996
LINDA LATHAM WELCH   
Austin American-Statesman

GEORGETOWN -- When Ben Dodson learned his young grandson lay in a coma in an Austin hospital, he and other family members in New Mexico reported to a Texas regulatory agency that they suspected Dodson's son, Richard, of abusing the grandson. Ben Dobson, testifying Monday in Richard Dodson's trial on child abuse charges, said he witnessed his son spanking the boy for eating a potato chip at a family reunion in 1993. He told of another occasion when the boy was punished

He told of another occasion when the boy was punished for eating a piece of bread. Richard Dodson, 40, formerly of Round Rock, is charged with four counts of injury to a child. His wife, Christine, 32, is charged with injury to a child with a deadly weapon.

The first-degree felony charges carry a maximum punishment of life in in prison and a $10000 fine.

Richard Dodson is accused of breaking their 5-year-old daughter's arms three times and a leg once. Christine Dodson is accused of striking their 6-year-old son with a wooden rod and forcing him to run around a tree.

After the boy fell and hit his head on on the tree, she then shut him in a bedroom closet, court records allege.

The next day, July 7, 1995, the child was taken to Children's Hospital of Brackenridge in Austin where he remained in a coma for three days.

[This is an excerpt of the original article]

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