GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A man who beat his then-pregnant girlfriend nearly to death could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Adam Phillips was sentenced Tuesday after being convicted of assault with intent to murder Elizabeth Batchelder.
The attack, which happened in November 2013, apparently started after Phillips claimed Batchelder had been ‘sexting’ other men.
Phillips delivered an emotional apology to the court, and his ex-girlfriend, for what he did.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and I just want to apologize to Elizabeth and to her family and to everyone in general that got hurt over this matter,” Phillips said. “This ain't who I am. This is out of my character. I am a good person and I like to help people. I don't like to hurt people.”
Phillips was sentenced to between 17 and 70 years behind bars.
“Setting aside the fact that at the time she was 17 weeks pregnant with the defendant's child, she was beaten, kicked, her head was smashed against a wall and her hair was pulled out,” said Kent County Circuit Court Judge Donald Johnston. “She had a number of broken bones and suffered a traumatic brain injury.”
Batchelder was surrounded by several family members inside the courtroom, but she didn’t speak.
The November attack put the then pregnant Batchelder into a coma. She didn`t awaken until nearly Christmas when she was forced to learn how to walk and speak again.
“Being released from rehab she did a lot of physical therapy,” said Jeannie Dood, Batchelder’s aunt. “We had five or six different agencies coming in - physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy.”
The attack was witnessed by the couple`s then 18-month-old daughter.
“He beat her twice, once when she was pregnant the first time and then again this time,” said JoAnn Smith, Batchelder’s grandmother.
In 2012, after one of those physical altercations with Batchelder, Phillips was convicted for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.
It wasn’t his first run-in with the law.
“You don't have any felony convictions, but you have several misdemeanors since 2011, including domestic violence, operating while intoxicated, use of marijuana, domestic violence second offense and malicious destruction of property,” said Judge Johnston.
Batchelder was three months pregnant at the time of the attack. Amazingly, the baby boy was born this spring in good health.
“We can't forget the miracle baby, too, who is three months old right now,” said Dood. “He is absolutely amazing, an angel.”
He has since been adopted.
Elizabeth, who is still recovering from the attack, is being cared for by her mother.
Kyrie, the couple’s daughter, has also been staying with family.
Batchelder’s family tells FOX 17 that two weeks ago Elizabeth started receiving letters, sent by Phillips, from behind bars.
That’s the same time Phillips was convicted for the attack.