Booking photo for Joshua G. Cox (Courtesy: Cache County Jail)
LOGAN — A 43-year-old Richmond man has confessed to shooting his step children with an airsoft gun. Joshua G. Cox accepted a plea deal to lesser charges that could keep him from being sent to prison.
Cox was in 1st District Court for a pre-trial conference Monday morning, appearing by video from the Cache County Jail. He pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse, amended to a third-degree felony. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped two remaining charges against him.
Public defender Diane Pitcher explained that as part of their resolution, prosecutors agreed not to ask for Cox to be given a prison sentence. They also would allow for him to be given work release while in jail.
In February, deputies were called to investigate Cox after agents with the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) filed a report, alleging he had physically abused several children. The kids were both younger in age.
In the course of the investigation, deputies were told how Cox had been striking the children with his fist. At one time he had used an airsoft BB gun to shoot them with, leaving welts on their bodies.
The children’s mother provided photographs to deputies, showing the boy with a welt on his chest and the girl with a welt on her forehead. She said the incident happened after the children had awaken Cox.
Cox spoke only briefly during Monday’s court appearance, stating he was guilty to the child abuse charge and was waiving his rights to a fair trial.
Judge Brian Cannell scheduled sentencing for June 1.