JOPLIN, Mo. – One of two Missouri men accused of subjecting an 11-year-old boy to grueling exercises and beatings has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Thirty-year-old Robert Black-Gamble was sentenced Monday after pleading guilty to felony child abuse. As part of his plea agreement, a second count of child abuse was dismissed.
The Joplin Globe reports that Black-Gamble and 33-year-old John Mason Jr., both of Joplin, were arrested in January. Authorities said the boy had showed up at school with severe bruising on his buttocks.
A probable-cause affidavit states Black-Gamble made the boy perform physical training exercises, including push-ups, sit-ups, wall sits and planks for about seven hours. Whenever the boy complained, he would be spanked with a hand, belt, wooden kitchen utensil and tree branch.
Mason, who is accused of participating in the abuse, has a preliminary hearing scheduled May 15.
Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com