Saturday, September 25, 2010

Who My Baby Daddy?

Today's story is about a man who could appear on the Maury show every day for a month without ever hearing the words "You are NOT the baby's father."

Howard Veal has fathered 23 children with 14 women, and is more than $533,000 in arrears in his child-support payments, according to the attorney general's office,

On Thursday, Judge Dennis Leiber sentenced Veal, 44, to two to four years in prison for failure to pay child support, a felony. With this sentence, the judge far exceeded the state guidelines, which called for Veal to get no more than six months in the county jail.

In a case of stating the obvious, the judge told Veal "You're an insult to every responsible father who sacrifices to provide for their children."

"I was stunned and amazed," said Leiber of the scope of Veal's fatherhood, and his failure to pay anything but a scant amount to most of the mothers.

"Animals procreate, human beings are supposed to nurture their children."

The case Veal was sentenced on stemmed from his guilty plea in July to owing more than $60,000 in child support to Grand Rapids resident Sherri Black, to whom he made one $87.75 payment over the course of seven years, according to the attorney general's office.

Wood said their investigation revealed that between 1989 and 1999, Veal impregnated at least one woman every year. "Incredibly, in three of those years, the defendant impregnated three women per year ...," the memo said.

Wood said Veal was unable to remember the names of several of his children and could not say specifically how many he fathered.

Black, the 38-year-old mother of two of Veal's children, ages 16 and 11, was delighted to see Veal going to prison, but she said getting the money would have been better.

"I'd rather have him pay the money," she said. "Now my taxes will go to support him in prison."

"My daughter doesn't even know him," she said.

Perhaps, instead of jail time they might offer him a vasectomy. That might be the best option for everyone all the way around.

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