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Man goes to prison for beating infant son Baby left with fractures and severe epilepsy

A North Tonawanda man, whose repeated beatings of his infant son left the baby with 11 fractured bones and a severe form of epilepsy, was sentenced Tuesday to 1 1/3 to four years in state prison.

Jeremy J. Bolvin, 24, of Eighth Avenue, had obtained a pre-indictment plea bargain in May to third-degree assault and attempted second-degree assault.

The sentence imposed by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza was the strictest she could have issued.

"Unfortunately, [the victim] has a life sentence," Sperrazza told Bolvin's attorney, Daniel Brick.

Bolvin, a father of three by multiple women, was convicted of third-degree assault in 2007 for breaking the arm of another of his sons in 2006, when the child was six months old. City Judge William R. Lewis granted him a conditional discharge.

"This was an incredibly difficult case to prosecute," Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth R. Donatello said. She told Sperrazza that five family members had access to the baby, Jeremy "J.J." Bolvin.

The injuries that occurred in March and April 2010 included fractures to the baby's ribs, arms and legs, said Tabitha Retzer, the baby's stepgrandmother and custodian.

Donatello said in one incident, Bolvin threw the infant into his crib.

Retzer said the now-18-month-old child's fractures are healed, but J.J.'s main issue is a severe form of epilepsy.

"On his worst day, he had 200 seizures," Retzer said. "A good day then would be 20 to 30. Medicine has helped, but he's still not seizure-free."

She said the baby has to eat special food, and his development is delayed.

"He just learned to crawl at 14 months. He makes monkey noises," Retzer said. "He wears a helmet to protect his head. There's no warning. He just drops like a brick."

Bolvin declined to speak in court.

The judge also issued an order barring Bolvin from any form of contact with J.J.

However, Sperrazza acknowledged that if at some point Bolvin wants to see the boy, a Family Court judge could modify the order and allow supervised visitation.

Donatello said Bolvin had met with Lockport psychologist David Heffler, who quoted Bolvin as telling him, "Minus three kids, my life would be pretty great right now."

"Minus the defendant," Donatello said, "J.J.'s life would be pretty great right now."

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com