Seattle mayoral candidate Lance Randall faced a criminal charge in Georgia in 1999, accused of beating his son, causing “extensive deep and painful bruising,” according to court records.
Randall eventually pleaded no contest to a lesser charge, receiving a suspended sentence and no jail time, the records show.
According to Macon-Bibb County court records, Randall, then in his 30s, was charged by grand jury indictment on March 16, 1999, with “cruelty to a child,” a felony.
The indictment stated that Randall in November 1998 “did maliciously cause … cruel physical pain by beating the child repeatedly around the buttocks and thighs to the extent that he suffered extensive deep and painful bruising.”
The charge stemmed from Randall hitting his son, then 11, about 10 times with a belt, according to a 2004 article by the Macon Telegraph, which cited a police report. Randall’s ex-wife took photos of the boy’s bruised buttocks and sent them to police, according to the Telegraph.
“He beat the living heck out of him, and I reported it,” the ex-wife, Yulanda Dailey, recalled in an interview last week.
Randall acknowledged he hit his son as a form of corporal punishment, saying he used a paddle, not a belt. “My son got in trouble at school and I gave him a spanking,” he said. “He is pretty light skinned. His bottom was pretty bruised.”
Records show Randall pleaded not guilty to the child-cruelty charge on April 7, 1999. He withdrew that plea and pleaded no contest to “reckless conduct” on Sept. 29, 2000. Under a negotiated plea agreement, Randall agreed to a suspended sentence of one year probation and no jail time.
Randall said he did not abuse his son, but agreed to the lesser charge so he and his family could move on.
“We just wanted to get it behind us. It was dragging out,” he said.
In 2004, having met the terms of the suspended sentence, Randall’s record was officially discharged “without court adjudication of guilt.” The court order, under Georgia’s Probation of First Offenders Act, said the discharge means Randall “shall not be considered to have a criminal conviction.”