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Court briefs

Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 6:05 am

Beating a pregnant woman brings four years in prison

A Fort Wayne man was sentenced on Wednesday to serve four years of a five-year prison term for tumbling a pregnant woman down a flight of stairs, then punching and kicking her -- in front of the woman’s mother and while the woman’s young daughter was present.

According to Allen County Superior Court documents, Jeffery A. Grabner, 43, on Nov. 8 came to the home where the victim, who also is his stepdaughter, lived with her mother and daughter to collect some of his belongings. He got into a quarrel with the victim’s mother and the victim tried to get between them to stop the confrontation.

Grabner reportedly yanked her ponytail, causing her to fall down a flight of stairs, then he came at her, slapping and punching.

The investigating officer said that the victim’s pregnancy, reportedly seven months along at the time of the beating, was evident from the size and shape of her abdomen.

Grabner was sentenced for battery resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant woman, a Class C felony, and invasion of privacy, a Class A misdemeanor.

Man sentenced to 3 years for beating 3-year-old

A Fort Wayne man whose care of a girlfriend’s son sent the boy to the hospital must serve three years of a five-year prison term in a sentence imposed Wednesday in Allen Superior Court.

Investigators said Brandon M. Sprinkle, 29, of the 7900 block of Decatur Road, was taking care of the 3-year-old son of his girlfriend on Aug. 27. Several times that day, he sent his girlfriend text messages complaining about the problems the child was causing and informing her that he had to spank him.

The boy woke up about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 28, investigators said, and complained of pain. When he went to the bathroom, his mother saw bruising in the area of his groin and took him to the hospital to be examined.

That’s when police were called in. Medical examination showed that the boy had bruising on both sides of his head, on his legs, arms and “a very large bruise on his pelvic and groin area,” according to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case.

Investigators who questioned Sprinkle said that the man said he spanked the boy, but only on his bottom, and swatted him with a wooden spoon on his lower legs.