By Abbey Doyle
The Herald Bulletin
ELWOOD, Ind. —
It’s been more than a year since Brittany Stout escaped her abusive partner. But the 19-year-old woman still struggles with the past.
“A lot has changed,” Brittany said. “My life will never be the same.”
She and Aaron McPhearson had been together off and on for three years when he first physically abused her. Now looking back, Brittany said he had been abusive in other ways throughout their relationship.
“It was always good right at the beginning but soon he’d fall back into his old ways,” Brittany said. “He was controlling; we always did what he wanted; I had no say. He told me I was fat and ugly. He was an angry person.”
He would break things in anger and place the blame on her, she said.
Brittany was 17 when she gave birth to the couple’s son, Aiden. Three months later, McPhearson attacked Brittany. He turned angry when she refused to have sex with him, Brittany said. He ripped her clothes off and refused to let her get up from the bed, she recalled, and she was hit several times.
McPhearson was arrested, but the two got back together. About a month later, when Aiden was 4 months old, McPherson asked Brittany if he could watch the baby overnight. She agreed. Around 4 a.m. that morning, McPherson told her that she needed to get Aiden.
When Brittany picked him up, the child’s face was swollen and bruised. McPhearson asked her to tell authorities that she had dropped Aiden. McPherson told her not to take the baby to the hospital, Brittany said. She didn’t comply, and Aiden was flown by medical helicopter to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.
McPhearson was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty to Class B felonies of aggravated battery, battery resulting in serious bodily injury and neglect of a dependent. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison — where he currently remains — with six of those years suspended.
“Now that I see everything he did, I realize it wasn’t normal,” Brittany said.
Aiden had bleeding in his brain, two broken wrists, a broken arm, hand, leg and knee, but there have been no lasting physical effects.
Brittany, however, remains emotionally affected.
“I have learned that you can’t trust everyone; you can’t believe what people say,” Brittany said. “Also, there are bad people in the world, and even if you think it can’t happen to you it can.”