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Published: Friday, 1/30/2009

Toledoan sent to prison for injuring 5-week-old

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Charles Doneghy noted there are likely few people who have not seen the television commercials warning of rough handling of infants, yet children continue to be hurt.

Judge Doneghy then sentenced a 24-year-old Toledo man to three years in prison for felony child endangering. Alexander Schneider of 1230 Barrows St. pleaded no contest to the charge Jan. 5 as a result of broken bones inflicted on his wife's then-5-week-old daughter.

"This child was seriously injured. Regardless of [Schneider's] no record at all, a prison term is mandated because of the seriousness of these circumstances," the judge said. " That child had no way of defending herself."

Authorities said Schneider's stepdaughter was taken to Toledo Hospital July 11 because she was vomiting. Doctors could not determine at first what was wrong with the infant, but discovered bruising on her body and eventually diagnosed broken bones.

According to information provided at his plea, Schneider admitted to squeezing the baby's legs together while changing her diaper, resulting in the breaking of a leg bone, and to hitting the child on the back to make her burp, an action investigators said led to the broken rib.

Schneider also admitted in interviews with police and Lucas County Children Services that he became frustrated while trying to wrap the child in a blanket and so handled the baby roughly, which broke her wrist bone.

Assistant County Prosecutor Tim Braun noted Schneider's lack of criminal record but cited the extent of the injuries when recommending a 3-year prison sentence to the judge.

Defense attorney Anthony Spinazze told Judge Doneghy that Schneider recognized that his emotions led to a disaster and reiterated that he previously had not been in trouble with the law. Mr. Spinazze declined to comment after the hearing yesterday.



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