Severn father acquitted of child abuse charges

A Severn father was found guilty of child neglect on Wednesday, but was acquitted of the most serious charge facing him — child abuse — in a case that stemmed from his 5-year-old son losing consciousness after drinking methadone.

In a bench trial, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Paul A. Hackner found Paul K. Brooks Sr., 28, guilty of seven charges, including drug possession, stemming from the September 2012 incident.

Hackner said Brooks should have acted faster to get the child medical help when he began to get sick — but he noted that Brooks ultimately made the 911 call, according to a recording of the verdict.

In addition, the judge said it was not clear Brooks initially knew the boy sipped the drug, or that ingesting it was what made him vomit.

Prosecutors, who said Brooks bought illegal methadone, credited rescue and hospital workers with saving the child's life.

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 28. Brooks' wife, Kimberly, still faces charges.

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