PERU – A 23-year-old Logansport man pleaded guilty to battery resulting in serious bodily injury after police say he caused severe brain and retinal injuries to a 1-month-old baby girl after shaking the child to stop her crying.
Hogan Moss pleaded guilty Thursday to the charge as part of plea bargain that would reduce his sentence to six years in prison and drop a second charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.
State police say the incident happened when Moss was watching the baby in a Bunker Hill apartment last year while the child’s mother left to run errands.
The next day, the mother discovered the child was suffering from a high fever and feeding issues. The mother took the child to a Miami County hospital.
The baby was subsequently transported to an Indianapolis hospital and Riley Children’s Hospital, where tests revealed the baby suffered a brain hemorrhage, as well as retinal hemorrhaging in her eyes.
According to police, medical staff said there was no accidental event to explain the injuries, and said the child’s condition is often referred to as Shaken Baby Syndrome.
State police began an investigation after the Indiana Department of Child Services reported the injuries may have been caused by child abuse.
Police said after further investigation, they determined Moss had shaken the baby the day before to stop her crying while the mother was gone.
Miami County Prosecutor Bruce Embrey said he offered the plea agreement to Moss because the evidence made it a difficult case to argue.
“If this had been a better case, I would have went after more sentencing time,” he said. “But getting some time is better than none.”
The maximum sentence for battery resulting in serious bodily injury on a person less than 14 years of age, a class B felony, is 20 years.
Miami County Circuit Court Judge Tim Spahr is set to review the plea agreement April 24, where he will either accept or deny the bargain.
Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @carsongerber1.