ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (WGNO) — A Slidell man was found guilty of cruelty to a child after he beat a then seven-year-old boy in September 2022.

District Attorney Warren Montgomery said a St. Tammany Parish jury found Christopher James Garretson guilty of cruelty to a child on Thursday, May 18.

In an interview with police, Garretson said he woke up and found the child playing with coffee creamer. He said the victim started “lying” to him and “talking back,” so he “popped him in the mouth.” He then said he “whooped his butt” with a belt.

Garretson also said in the interview that when family members arrived back to the house, they saw the victim’s condition and beat Garretson in retaliation.

The family members then took the child for medical treatment. Montgomery said the victim suffered bruises on his forehead and leg. He also suffered a busted lip and bruising so severe on his face that it caused bruising on the inside of his mouth.

“When Christopher Garretson beat his seven-year-old child repeatedly and with enough force to leave visible bruising to the child’s entire face, that is not discipline. That is cruelty,” Assistant District Attorney Christina Fisher told the jury.

Garretson is scheduled to be sentenced on June 13.

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