BELLEFONTE — A Centre Hall man was sentenced Thursday to spend five years behind bars in a state prison for twisting and pulling his 4-week-old son’s arms and a leg to the point of fracturing them.
Brandon Stimer, 27, was convicted last month after a two-day jury trial in which a doctor testified the injuries the newborn suffered in August 2009 were the result of child abuse. Stimer took the stand and denied he hurt his son.
Judge Bradley P. Lunsford scolded Stimer, telling him he had failed in his duty as a parent and failed to learn from his previous run-ins with the law, including assaulting his now-ex-wife.
“You have inflicted a great deal of harm through violence on the people who are closest to you,” Lunsford said.
“You allowed your son to suffer as opposed to reporting it immediately and seeking medical attention. ... Your son suffered what I can only imagine is excruciating pain.”
The jury convicted Stimer of child endangerment, simple assault and reckless endangerment.
Lunsford gave Stimer the maximum on a child endangerment charge — 2.5 to five years — and another 2.5 to five years for a simple assault to run consecutively with the first one. A reckless endangerment charge was merged with the simple assault charge.
Prosecutor Crystal Hundt had asked for the maximum sentence.
Lunsford also ordered that Stimer not have any contact with his son and twin daughters unless in the company of Centre County Children and Youth Services.
Stimer was acquitted of the most serious charge, aggravated assault, that would have likely increased his time behind bars.
Stimer’s son, who’s going on 3 years old, was in court Thursday crawling around the benches while his mother sat in tears. The boy’s injuries have healed.
The incident started in August 2009 when Stimer’s wife had noticed her newborn was crying when changing his diaper. She had him checked out by a doctor who discovered a broken bone. Six broken bones were found after an X-ray.
Authorities had narrowed down the date of the incident to when Stimer woke up one night after an argument with his wife. The mother, who’s since divorced him, heard Stimer on a baby monitor sounding frustrated with the baby’s crying.
The investigation took two years, and Stimer was charged last fall.
Stimer’s attorney, Ed Blanarik, asked the judge for a lighter sentence.
Stimer didn’t address the court.
Lunsford also said he was put off that Stimer didn’t show any remorse for hurting his son when he testified last month.
Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT.