GREEN BAY – A Green Bay man will spend nearly two decades in prison for the death of his girlfriend’s young son.
Nicholas Willies, 30, was sentenced in Brown County court Monday afternoon to 18 years in prison.
In June of this year, Willies pled no contest to 2nd degree reckless homicide and child abuse charges, in connection with the 2013 death of two-year-old Alexander Fountain.
"My son was extremely happy all the time," said Fountain’s mother, Juanita Fountain, clutching the only pictures she has left of her son.
Sitting at the witness stand, Fountain painted a picture of who her baby boy was for Judge Marc Hammer.
"I want people to remember his smile," she said, while at the same time, recounting his last moments alive.
"I had to watch him die. I had to watch him stop breathing,” Fountain said, looking towards Willies. “He was two! He did nothing wrong – do you hear me?! Nothing wrong – and I hope you rot."
Court documents say Willies took Fountain to the hospital on January 7, 2013 because he stopped breathing; he later died.
Medical staff found strange bruises and scrapes on his body and his death was ruled a homicide.
The criminal complaint says a relative of Willies told police he saw Willies punch Fountain in the stomach a "bunch of times."
"No, he should not have been caring for children in that home,” argued Willies’ defense attorney Raj Singh at Monday’s sentencing hearing. “He should not have been. He wasn't their father, he didn't live there, he's not a professional babysitter – never was – he did something he should not have. He stepped up to take care for them on a time-by-time basis."
Singh said his client took responsibility for the allegations, choosing to not fight the charges and enter a no contest plea.
"Am I trying to say my client's not responsible? No."
"Your lawyer is right,” said Judge Marc Hammer to Willies. “You shouldn't have been caring for children. You shouldn't be caring for anyone because you are incapable of caring for anyone other than yourself."
In addition to Willies 18 years, without eligibility for early release, Hammer also ordered Willies spend 14 years on extended supervision.
Before Hammer handed down his sentence, he asked Willies if he had anything to say.
"Basically, I just want to apologize to all the family here and my family, for everybody going through this, that's basically it," Willies said.
Both supporters of Willies’ and Fountain's family declined to comment after the hearing.