A Ridgefield man has been sentenced to three years in prison for attempting to circumcise his 8-year-old son at home with a hunting knife.

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VANCOUVER, Wash. — A Ridgefield man has been sentenced to three years in prison for attempting to circumcise his 8-year-old son at home with a hunting knife.


Edwin Baxter, 33, was sentenced yesterday in Clark County Superior Court. A jury convicted Baxter last week of assault of a child.


“I pray God will have mercy on me,” Baxter said.


He was arrested on Sept. 3. Baxter said he tried the procedure on his son after reading about it in the Bible. He called 911 when he felt his son was losing too much blood.


According to 911 tapes played in court, Baxter told the dispatcher, “Long story short, sir? I was studying my Bible and decided to circumcise my 8-year-old.”


The defense argued that Baxter did not intend to harm his son and that the boy has fully recovered.


Baxter and his wife, Tammy, 30, have nine children and Tammy Baxter was pregnant at the time of the arrest. Tammy Baxter and the children disappeared after Edwin Baxter was arrested and state officials have yet to locate them.


Before his trial began, Edwin Baxter turned down a plea deal that would have given him credit for time served and released him from jail.