CEDAR RAPIDS — A judge Tuesday sentenced a 19-year-old father, who caused his infant son’s brain injury, to five years in prison.
Matthew Tyler Judd of Marion, originally charged in Linn County District Court with child endangerment causing serious injury, pleaded in July to child endangerment causing bodily injury. He squeezed and bruised the 2-month-old’s leg on July 9, 2018, and, in another incident that day, set the boy on the floor too fast, causing the child’s head to hit the floor.
Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden asked 6th Judicial District Judge Lars Anderson to sentence Judd to the maximum term — five years.
Vander Sanden said the presentencing report recommended a suspended sentence and probation, but that mainly was because Judd did not have a prior criminal record.
The child’s mother, Brittany Eby, who in a victim impact statement talked about the permanent damage to her son’s head, also asked for the maximum sentence.
Eby said the child has made a partial recovery but still is undergoing therapy for the brain injury.
Authorities were called to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City to investigate the injuries after the child was diagnosed and treated for injuries. The infant had bilateral subdural hematomas — collections of blood outside the brain beneath the skull — that could result in permanent disabilities, the complaint showed. The child also had visible bruising to his right leg.
Doctors determined the injuries were not accidental, according to the complaint.
During a police interview, Judd admitted he intentionally squeezed the infant’s legs out of frustration and, at a different time, he put the infant on the floor too fast causing the infant’s head to strike the floor.
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