A Springville man pleaded guilty Tuesday to a reduced charge of child abuse in the shaking of his infant son.
Javier Junior Delgado, 25, pleaded guilty to third-degree felony child abuse, reduced from a second-degree charge of child abuse. His attorney, Monika Roth, said the charge lowered the level of intent from intentional to reckless.
Delgado pleaded guilty in American Fork's 4th District Court to the amended charge, but insisted that he did not mean to harm the child.
"Your honor, it was an accident," he said. "I called 911."
Prosecutor Julia Thomas said Delgado was arrested after his 1-month-old son was taken to the hospital with extensive hemorrhaging in his brain. A physician at the hospital reported the bleeding appeared to be of varying ages.
Thomas said Delgado later admitted shaking the baby in frustration before the infant fell and hit his head.
Roth objected to the characterization of what the doctor would have testified, but Delgado said he agreed with the remainder of the facts.
The attorneys agreed that Delgado could be released on his own recognizance Tuesday while he awaits sentencing, but Judge Christine Johnson ordered that Delgado have no contact with the baby once he is released.
Thomas said the state has agreed to recommend a reduction in Delgado's conviction after he successfully completes probation. However, she said she did not agree to recommend probation.
"The state's not agreeing to no prison at this time," she said.
Delgado faces zero to five years in prison when he is sentenced June 8.
According to Springville police, Javier Junior Delgado called for an ambulance at 9 a.m. March 4 because his baby was having trouble breathing. When emergency personnel arrived, he told them that he had been unwrapping the baby from a blanket and lost his grip. He told police that the baby fell to his knee, then to the floor.
In an initial interview with police, Delgado allegedly did not provide a different explanation of what happened, but he later called them back to discuss the incident.
Police say Delgado shook his son for about 30 seconds before forcefully removing the baby's blanket, causing the infant to spin toward's Delgado's chest. At this point, Delgado allegedly told police, he lost his grip on the baby and threw his knee up to catch him. His knee allegedly struck the baby's head before the baby fell onto a bouncer and onto the floor. The baby's eyes reportedly rolled upward, and Delgado woke up his wife and called 911.