Man accused of beating 4-year-old pleads not guilty


Aaron Handy, 28, has been charged with felony child abuse with enhancements for allegedly inflicting great bodily injury on a child younger than 5 years old and for causing a child to suffer a brain injury, coma or paralysis, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Dara Cashman said.

If convicted of all the charges, Handy could face a maximum sentence of 17 years in prison, Cashman said.

The incident happened on Aug. 20 at a home on Peppertree Way where Handy, his girlfriend and her child lived.

Handy was home watching the boy when he allegedly injured him, police said. He allegedly later admitted that he had hurt the boy in anger, according to police.

When the boy's mother came home, she found her son unconscious.

Police said Handy tried to convince the mother not to call 911 for her child and then fled the home.

The boy was flown by helicopter to a hospital to be treated for a traumatic brain injury, police said.

Doctors put him in a medically induced coma and removed a portion of his skull to alleviate swelling in the brain, police said.

Updates on the boy's condition were not immediately available, but Cashman said that when she filed the charges against Handy that it was still too soon to tell whether he would have permanent brain damage.

It did appear though that the brain injury might have caused paralysis to one of the boy's arms.

Although she declined to release details about what happened, Cashman said she is confident that Handy's actions caused the injuries to the child.

Handy was arrested five days later at a home in Stockton and booked into county jail. His bail has been set at $240,000, according to jail records.

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