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Marilla teen arraigned in March death of 2-year-old boy

A Marilla teenager Wednesday was arraigned on a second degree charge in the March 10 death of a toddler he was babysitting.

Devon VanDerWege, 17, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Erie County Court Judge Thomas P. Franczyk.

VanDerWege was charged in connection with the death of 2-year-old Ethan Bigham inside the Hemstreet Road mobile home they shared with seven other people. VanDerWege, in whose care Ethan was left while the child's mother was at work, is accused of inflicting the blunt force trauma that left Ethan brain-dead.

At the time of the incident, VanDerWege had been a resident for less than a month inside the small mobile home he shared with Ethan's mother, who lived there with her four children and four other adults, according to the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

After Wednesday's arraignment, VanDerWege was remanded to jail without bail.

If convicted of the charge, he faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years to life.

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