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Man pleads guilty to battering his infant

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Thursday, April 13, 2017 11:40 am

A Fort Wayne man pleaded guilty for battering and inflicting injury upon his infant son last June.
Desmond T. Ross, 18, of the 2500 block of South Wayne Avenue, pleaded guilty Thursday in Allen Superior Court to one count of battery resulting in serious injury, a Level 3 felony. As part of the open plea agreement, Ross can be sentenced between three and 16 years, and a count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious injury will be dismissed at sentencing, which takes place May 19.

Ross pleaded guilty to battering his 3-month-old baby who was in his care June 27 through June 29.

According to the probable-cause affidavit filed in the case, Ross arrived with his son at about 4:30 p.m. June 29 at the emergency room at Parkview Hospital on Randallia Drive. Doctors quickly determined the infant's injuries were too severe to treat there, so he was transferred to Parkview Regional Medical Center off Dupont Road.

A Fort Wayne Police Department officer arrived, and Ross told him that he and the baby were sleeping on the sofa when his son woke up vomiting at about 6 a.m.

Ross reportedly had told the doctor treating his son at Parkview Regional that Ross had been cooking lunch in the kitchen while his son was on the sofa in the family room. Ross also told the doctor he heard a thud and found his son lying on the floor.

The doctor reportedly told Ross the baby's injuries weren't consistent with his story. Doctors allegedly found the baby had a skull fracture and brain bleed that were less than 48 hours old, and signs of a brain injury that was two to three weeks old. The infant had to be placed on a breathing machine because he couldn't breathe on his own.

The doctor allegedly also told police the baby had what appeared to be new bruising on both sides of his face. An eye doctor who examined the baby reportedly also found the infant had bleeding spots in his eyes "too numerous to count."

During an interview July 1 with police, Ross allegedly said his son was sleeping on Ross' chest as they lay on the family room sofa. Ross awoke at about 3 a.m. to hear his son crying, and found the baby face down on the floor. He reportedly picked up the baby and shook him to see if he was OK. Ross said he also grabbed the baby by the face to turn his head to see if he was injured, and may have grabbed the baby's face too hard.

Ross told police the baby must have rolled off his chest and hit his head on the foot of a wrought-iron table.

After police told the hospital doctor what Ross said July 1, the doctor allegedly said the story still wasn't consistent with the nature of the infant's injuries.

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