LOCKPORT – A Buffalo man who admitted shaking his daughter hard enough to cause an injury to her brain is out of chances.
Jeremy R. Hayes, 25, of Humber Avenue, was sentenced Thursday in Niagara County Court to an indeterminate sentence of one and one-third to four years in state prison for attempted reckless assault of a child. He also was ordered to pay a $375 surcharge.
After Hayes accepted a plea deal on Nov. 1, Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas had sentenced Hayes to six months of interim probation pending final sentencing, as a means for the defendant to demonstrate he could change. But according to the prosecution, it was clear he had made no attempt.
“I don’t even know why I ever tried,” Farkas told Hayes during his sentencing.
The assault occurred April 7, 2013, in a home on Ninth Street in Niagara Falls, where Hayes had been living with the baby’s mother and their son. The girl, who was 6 weeks old at the time, suffered subdural hematoma, or a brain bleed. The baby was not expected to suffer long-term effects, Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma had said.
Hayes offered apologies and told Farkas this was the worst year of his life.
“I’m not a criminal. I can be productive, but I’ve got some growing up to do,” he said.
But Farkas pointed to a long history of arrests and plea deals since 2005 – including as a youthful offender in 2006, when he faced attempted murder and weapons charges, later reduced. He also had been charged with endangering the welfare of his son in 2011, which was reduced to harassment, and had several drug charges linked to marijuana, authorities said. Paul R. Didio, Hayes’ attorney, said his client suffers from mental health issues.
Hayes told the judge he had begun parenting classes but dropped out because of the reaction he received when he told others in the group what he had done.
“I was embarrassed and ashamed and couldn’t go back,” he said.
Farkas told Hayes that programs and counseling are available in prison, but he has to seek them out.