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Civil court: Adoptive father 'aided and abetted' child's 2006 suffocation

Posted July 19, 2011

— A civil court in Johnston County found in favor of five children Tuesday in a case against their adoptive father. According to the court, Johnny Paddock "aided and abetted" his wife, Lynn Paddock, who was convicted in the 2006 death of their adopted son, Sean Paddock, then 4.

Lynn Paddock is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and felony child abuse. Authorities said Sean was bound so tightly in blankets on Feb. 26, 2006, that he suffocated. By the time she was found guilty, Johnny Paddock had divorced her and said he agreed with the conviction.

Johnny Paddock claimed he had been unaware of the abuse, but the judge in his ex-wife's case said cast doubt on that claim. Superior Court Judge Knox Jenkins said Johnny Paddock "does not qualify as a parent in any sense of the word."

Prosecutors have said they didn't have enough evidence to charge Johnny Paddock in the criminal case. He was not present at the civil trial and could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

Attorneys Jay Trehy and David Mills filed wrongful death claims against Johnny Paddock on behalf of the five other children adopted by the couple. A suit against the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina Inc. is pending. The attorneys are seeking damages from that group for placing the children in the Paddock home.

Johnny Paddock also has a daughter from an earlier marriage. 

The six surviving Paddock children testified during Lynn Paddock's 2008 trial that she beat them almost daily with flexible plastic rods, wooden spoons and other devices. She also forced them to exercise or sit facing a wall for hours, controlled what they ate and when they went to the bathroom and denied them contact with other children and adults.

A forensic pediatrician described the abuse as "ritualistic torture" that was rooted in Lynn Paddock's obsessive need for control.


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  • wildcat Jul 20, 2011

    Glad the father was charge. He played a major part in this child death; too.

  • tigresspen Jul 19, 2011

    Fly higher with Angels sweet baby. I think about Sean often. Finally justice is again given him.

  • shortcake53 Jul 19, 2011

    Those poor darling kids. First life hands them the misfortune of needing an adoptive home, then they are handed over to someone who mistreated them. I wish I had the space to give them a good home and show them what a family is really about. God bless them, and all those in the same situation.

  • jetset Jul 19, 2011

    Finally, a little justice for the children. I think Lynn Paddock should have been charged with first degree murder and Johnny Paddock with second degree murder. Those poor children that are left are scarred for life.

  • ICTrue Jul 19, 2011

    "The article and the title talk about different topics."

    Hey, WRAL isn't immune to cut-backs either you know.

  • Bartmeister Jul 19, 2011

    The article and the title talk about different topics.

  • ICTrue Jul 19, 2011

    How did this guy avoid criminal prosecution? He should have gotten a life sentence also.