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Buffalo man pleads guilty to shaking his baby daughter

A Buffalo man admitted today that he shook his 7-week-old daughter April 7 in Niagara Falls, causing a potential brain injury.

Jeremy R. Hayes, 24, of Humber Avenue, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted reckless assault on a child. He could be sentenced to as long as four years in prison when he returns before Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas Aug. 28.

The baby girl suffered a subdural hematoma, better known as a brain bleed, Deputy District Attorney Holly E. Sloma said. The incident occurred in a home on Ninth Street in the Falls, where Hayes was then living with the baby’s mother.

“Everything so far, God willing, is looking very good for this baby,” Sloma said. “The subdural hematoma is healing and she’s doing very well … This is a lucky baby.”

After the plea, Farkas cut Hayes’ bail from $100,000 to $5,000. Sloma said that the high bail was set in Niagara Falls City Court because Hayes originally was charged with first-degree assault. She said that with a plea to a much lower charge, $100,000 could be considered “excessive.”

Farkas ordered that Hayes have no contact with the baby. Defense attorney Paul R. Didio said a Family Court proceeding regarding custody is under way.