Courts & Crime

Soldier, charged with holding daughter's head under water, guilty of abuse

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier has pleaded guilty to three counts of third-degree assault of a child, domestic violence, seven months after he held his 4-year-old daughter's head under water in the kitchen sink at their Yelm home because she would not recite the alphabet.

Joshua Ryan Tabor, 27, pleaded guilty Tuesday under an Alford plea, meaning he does not admit guilt but concedes there is enough evidence to convict him. An Alford plea is the same as a guilty plea in the eyes of the court and results in a felony criminal conviction.

In return for Tabor’s plea, a prosecutor agreed to amend Tabor’s charges from second-degree child assault to third-degree child assault and recommended that he serve two years of community service and two years of community custody under the state Department of Corrections.

Yelm police arrested Tabor on Jan. 31, after Tabor’s girlfriend reported that he “was irate, intoxicated and walking around the neighborhood with his Kevlar helmet threatening to break windows,” court papers state.

According to court papers:

During the police investigation, an officer noticed severe bruises on the daughter’s back. Asked how she got them, she said, “Daddy did it.”

Tabor later told the officer he and his girlfriend “held (the 4-year-old) down on the counter and submerged her head into the water three or four times until the water came around her forehead and jawline.” Tabor said she was face-up when her head was in the water. He added that it was punishment for the girl “refusing to say her letters.”

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