Local News

Fort Bragg Soldier Charged With Felony Child Abuse

Posted January 6, 2004 5:05 a.m. EST

— The Cumberland County Sheriff's Office has charged a Fort Bragg soldier with felony child abuse.

Authorities said John Wayne Murphy, a parachute rigger, is accused of shaking his 9-week-old boy and causing severe head injuries. Murphy told reporters that he plans to plead not guilty in the case.

According to investigators, the boy's mother noticed something was wrong with her son, John Jr., so she took him to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Doctors later had to perform emergency surgery to save his life.

It is the third incident in the past week involving a parent accused of child abuse in Cumberland County. On Dec. 30,

two Cumberland County mothers

were charged with child abuse.

"We see this at times when there is a spike, so to speak, in child abuse and then it will go back down. Unfortunately this time of year, we are seeing an increase," said Maj. Sam Pennica, of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Murphy is also being charged with attempted first-degree murder. Authorities said Murphy's son had to be taken to the hospital on two other occasions.

Investigators said the boy is listed in critical condition at the hospital.