LOCKPORT – Although an injured infant is making what attorneys called “a remarkable recovery,” the father who injured him was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday.
State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. stuck to the plea agreement worked out March 5 for Christopher T. Fuller Jr., 23, of Dysinger Road, Lockport, who had agreed to serve the sentence after pleading guilty to reckless assault on a child.
Assistant Public Defender Michael H. White said in court that the child’s mother, Fuller’s girlfriend, had asked for a conditional discharge for the defendant. Fuller announced that the woman is pregnant with their second child, a daughter, and her due date is Aug. 23.
However, Kloch was worried about Aiden Fuller, now 9 months old, who was hurt between Jan. 20 and 22, during a 36-hour period when his father was the sole caregiver.
“The truth of the matter is, I’m very concerned about the future safety of this child,” the judge said. He granted a prosecution request for an order of protection barring Fuller from contact with his son until five years after he is released from prison.
That means Aiden will be almost 13 before he is allowed to see his father.
The child suffered bleeding on the brain and in the eyes, although details have never been released about exactly how the head injuries were inflicted.
Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma said of the infant; “He’s made a remarkable recovery. His long-term prognosis is unknown. That’s all I’m going to say.”
White said, “The child is doing much better.”
In late February, Fuller was given a choice between pleading guilty to reckless assault with the fixed seven-year sentence, or attempted first-degree assault, with Kloch having his choice of imposing anywhere between 3½ and 15 years in prison. After rejecting both pleas at first, Fuller changed his mind and went with the seven-year sentence, which is to be followed by three years of post-release supervision.
“I love my son. I really do,” Fuller said. “My response to a moment of panic is something I’ll pay for for the rest of my life.”
He said he intends to take part in all parenting and anger-management classes available in prison.
Kloch said, “You did damage your child, perhaps irreparably. You’re going to have seven years to curb your temper.”