Father faces felonies for abusing son

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BELOIT — A Beloit man faces child abuse and child neglect charges and is accused of causing great bodily harm to a child who is only about two months old.

Deanthony Cardell Hodges, 31, faces charges of neglecting a child (consequence is great bodily harm), a class F felony; child abuse — recklessly causing great bodily harm, a class E felony; and bail jumping, a class A misdemeanor, according to court documents filed Wednesday in Rock County Circuit Court.

The charges stem from incidents on March 20 when police were called to the 700 block of Euclid Avenue where a child was reportedly not breathing and had no pulse.

At the scene, police talked with Hodges who said he was watching his son and placed him in a swing in the living room at about 7 a.m. after the baby was fed. He said the baby was crying throughout the day and he was going to give the baby a bottle at about 1 p.m. when he said the baby was sleeping, according to the criminal complaint.

Hodges told police the baby was breathing at that time, but when he returned with the baby’s bottle he no longer was breathing.

Hodges said he sent a Facebook message to the child’s mother who told Hodges to call 911. Hodges said he was afraid to call police because he did not know what was going on with the child, according to the criminal complaint.

The child’s mother later told police that she was the one who called 911.

The child was taken to Beloit Memorial Hospital where medical personnel said the child did have a pulse, but could not breath on his own. The child had a fracture to the back of his skull, a subdural hematoma, bruising on his legs and patechia in his eyes, according to the complaint.

Hodges told police he did not strike the child at any time and the child had not fallen.

The child was taken to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee by air ambulance and was placed in the intensive care unit. A child advocacy physician at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin told police in a phone conversation Wednesday that the child effectively was brain dead. He also said the injuries were consistent with that of a high speed traffic crash in which the individual was not restrained. He also said the injuries were consistent with shaking or slamming a child. He said if the child were to live, he would never walk, talk and would remain in a near vegetative state.

Medical staff reported the child was “neurologically devastated,” according to the complaint.

Court records also noted Hodges previously was charged with domestic abuse battery and domestic abuse disorderly conduct with the child’s mother listed as the victim. The complaint states the mother was pregnant at the time of the domestic abuse. The domestic abuse case remains open, and Hodges will appear in court at 1 p.m. on May 3 in Rock County Circuit Court.

His adjourned initial appearance in the child neglect case will resume in court at 2 p.m. Monday.

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