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Penngrove father sentenced to 10 years in prison for baby abuse

A Penngrove man found guilty of abusing his 2-month-old daughter, leaving her with a broken leg and seven fractured ribs, was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.

Jesus Daniel Colula, 26, and his wife, Lyndsay Colula, 21, were arrested in June after the injuries were discovered during a well-baby checkup.

Doctors determined the leg had been broken several weeks before and the parents tried to mend it with an elastic bandage.

The father said he didn't seek immediate treatment because he feared doctors would find out his breast-feeding wife was smoking marijuana.

Just how the injuries occurred was never established. Both parents offered multiple conflicting explanations, including blaming each other.

Judge Gary Medvigy said the continued deception and a lack of remorse were factors in denying Jesus Colula's bid for leniency. His lawyer asked for a grant of probation.

"Plain and simple, this child was tortured and absolutely defenseless as a 2-month-old," Medvigy said.

The father, who has been in custody since his June arrest, spoke briefly but shed no light on what happened. He expressed sadness at losing custody of his daughter to his in-laws.

"The loss of my daughter is what hurts me most," he told the judge.

He was ordered to begin serving his sentence immediately. He's likely to be deported afterward, his lawyer said.

His wife, who also pleaded no contest to a count of felony child abuse, will be sentenced around Jan. 1. She is at San Quentin State Prison for an evaluation to determine if she should spend more time behind bars. She faces a maximum 12-year sentence.

In addition to the leg and rib injuries, the infant suffered bruising to her head and ear. Doctors who examined the baby in May said the wounds were the result of "an aggressive, violent act," prosecutor Rosanne Darling said.

"This is probably the worst example of child abuse I've seen in my career," Darling said.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com.

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