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Friday, April 19, 2024

Citrus man gets 10 years in prison for abusing 5-year-old girl

A 37-year-old Citrus County man who pleaded guilty to aggravated child abuse, aggravated battery, and child neglect charges has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, followed by an additional six-year sentence.

On Friday, Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney William M. Gladson announced that Michael Wesley Comins, Jr. has received the above sentence in connection with the 2022 case of an abused 5-year-old girl who was found wandering in a neighborhood.

Michael Wesley Comins, Jr.
Michael Wesley Comins, Jr.

On September 20, 2022, Comins was arrested after Citrus County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to allegations of abuse.

According to court records, a good Samaritan had contacted the sheriff’s office the previous night to report that a young girl had knocked on their door. The girl had apparent bruising and a swollen face.

When deputies arrived on scene, the girl stated that she had been “slapped numerous times” after “(getting) into trouble.” She was transported to a hospital for treatment, where it was discovered that she had four jawbone fractures, a broken nose, and brain bleeding.

During the investigation, law enforcement determined that Comins had inflicted the injuries on the girl. Investigators contacted Comins, and he claimed that the girl “fell inside the bed of a pickup truck” a few days earlier.

CCSO stated that a medical team at the hospital determined that the girl’s injuries were not consistent with Comins’ statements.

Investigators asked Comins why he had failed to report the girl missing after realizing she was not in his home. Comins stated that he had seen first responders and law enforcement at his neighbor’s house and “knew the (girl) was there,” though he did not contact law enforcement or check on her.

When photographic evidence of the girl’s face was shown to Comins, he was unable to further explain the cause of the injuries. Instead, he insisted that her injuries were from “falling inside the truck bed.”

Investigators were later informed that Comins had messaged a witness and told them that he had “blacked out.” In the message, he also mentioned that the girl had sustained injuries.

Comins was promptly arrested by CCSO detectives.

“Every child deserves a champion and that is especially true in cases like this,” said State Attorney Gladson. “Our office is thankful for the citizen who contacted law enforcement on this child’s behalf. Child abuse shatters innocence, undermines trust, and robs children of their right to a safe and nurturing environment. Our office stands (united) against this abhorrent crime.”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Kevin Davis.