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Man gets max sentence for ‘torture’ of a 1-year-old in Jefferson County

Daniel Saunders was accused of breaking numerous bones in the child's body and causing head trauma when he yanked and shook the boy.

The man who assaulted a 12-month-old child, causing serious injuries and life-long complications, received the maximum sentence on Tuesday by Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge Michael Miller.

Daniel Saunders was accused of breaking numerous bones in the child's body and causing head trauma when he yanked and shook the boy, who is now 3 years old.

And he was in court, wearing the helmet he needs to protect his head because his skull had to be removed on both sides to release the pressure on his brain when it swelled.

He was wearing the glasses he needs because he went blind for months. His vision is still not fully restored.

And during the hearing, he played and crawled around like kids do, but his life will be much different than most, because of what happened to him as a baby.

This happened in Jefferson County in April 2015.

He is now being cared for by his grandmother.

“You are a monster and a coward and you are a pathetic excuse for a human being,” his grandmother Susan Klan said. “You tortured a 1-year-old little boy for 14, days, 14!”

Saunders admitted he was on drugs when he yanked the child and fell down the stairs with him.

“His brain injury and his shunt are unseen lasting injuries, but these unseen injuries can become deadly for him at any time,” Klan said.

Klan begged the judge to impose the maximum sentence. Saunders' attorney suggested 5 or 6 years would be appropriate, saying Saunders has taken responsibility for his actions.

The judge imposed the maximum, 8 years in prison, and no contact with the victim or family.

“All children want to be cared for and loved and made safe,” Miller said. “That's exactly the opposite of what you did. This child laid in the ICU and will now suffer at your hands for the rest of his life.”

-- The victim's mother was also in court to plead guilty to child endangerment. Amanda Rogers failed to properly care for the child.

She will be sentenced next month, and could be ordered to serve up to 3 years in prison.

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