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Ottawa County man sentenced for throwing infant daughter

By Audra Gamble/The Holland Sentinel • Apr 10, 2019 at 11:00 AM

A Holland Township man will spend at least the next 11 years in prison for repeatedly throwing his 11-week-old daughter onto a hardwood floor.

Ricky Joe Bodman, 28, pleaded no contest to first-degree child abuse for an incident in the city of Holland in May 2018. Bodman, who was high on marijuana and 60 Xanax pills and was drunk at the time, threw his daughter three times onto a hardwood floor, according to court documents.

Bodman was sentenced Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven.

The baby was taken to Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids with significant injuries, including severe brain injuries and hemorrhaging.

Letters submitted to the court on Bodman’s behalf showed he is a hard worker, said Judge Karen Miedema. However, Miedema chose to sentence Bodman to 135-360 months in prison, which is above the recommended 81-135 months.

“You made the choice to throw your 11-week-old daughter on the floor three separate times,” the judge said. “The injuries were life-threatening.”

Along with the 11-30 years in prison, Bodman is not to have any contact with the baby or her mother. He was given credit for 68 days already served at the Ottawa County Jail.

Bodman had several previous court cases in Ottawa County, including several for larceny and being a minor in possession of alcohol. He pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge in November 2010.

According to Bodman’s attorney, Tom Smith, the baby is “doing really well physically” at this point.

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