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Colorado Springs man acquitted of murder charge

A 24-year-old Colorado Springs man has been acquitted on a charge of first-degree murder.

However, the former Fort Carson soldier was found guilty of child abuse resulting in the death of a friend's child. He was also found guilty of child abuse involving his own two-month-old son.

Defense attorneys argued that the baby had an undiagnosed brain condition that made him more prone to injury.

The charges stem from a February incident when the accused contacted a neighbor for help when a friend's baby he was caring for stopped breathing. The neighbor performed CPR and then dialed 911. Doctors later found that the baby had hematomas and bleeding in the brain, which they claimed were consistent with someone having shaken the child.

According to media reports, the defendant told police that he was unable to handle the baby's crying, and stated that, on a scale of one to 10, he had been bouncing the child at 6.5 to 7 before it stopped breathing.

While the accused man was at the hospital, a neighbor taking care of the man's own son changed the baby's diaper with investigating officers present. The officers reportedly found multiple bruises on the child's lower back, buttocks and upper thighs.

The child was treated and placed in protective custody.

When questioned by the officers that noted the bruising, the accused claimed to have spanked his son when he thought the child was "out of line."

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5. Prosecutors say that the former soldier could receive up to 80 years in prison.

Source: ABC News: "Ex-Soldier Convicted In Baby's Death" by Kim Nguyen: Oct. 3, 2011

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