By Tony Parra
A pre-trial date of March 14 has been set for a man accused of abusing his infant son.
Robert Neely, 24, was indicted on Jan. 18 on first-degree child-abuse charges and is accused of injuring Dezauron S. Neely, who was 3 months old at the time of the incident. The baby was first taken to Roosevelt General Hospital. According to a medical report, the child suffered internal injuries to his brain. The incident report also indicated the boy suffered broken bones.
Donna Mowrer, senior prosecutor with the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, said the Children’s Youth and Families Department took custody of the boy.
District Judge Stephen Quinn set Neely’s bond at $50,000 cash. Neely is being held in the Roosevelt County Detention Center.
Mowrer said Neely could face up to 18 years in prison.
James Wilson, Neely’s attorney, declined to comment on the case.
The child’s mother did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
Neely told police he had fallen on the child about 8 a.m. on Dec. 31 when caring for him while the mother went to Wal-Mart.
Roosevelt General Hospital medical workers heard Neely’s explanation about the accident and didn’t feel it was consistent with the baby’s injuries, according to a Portales police report.
Neely told police he had been sitting at a computer desk while the infant was lying on the floor, the report stated. Neely said the infant started “fussing” and he got up to check the baby. The report stated that Neely said his feet became tangled and he fell on the baby. Neely also said he had worked a 14-hour shift at Sunland Peanuts and was tired, according to the report.
A doctor told police a neurological examination was not consistent with someone falling on the child, but was consistent with the “shaken baby syndrome,” according to the report. The report stated the infant had a skull fracture and was bleeding from the front and back of the brain. The doctor told officials the injuries were also consistent with the baby being struck with a blunt object.