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Baby-beater defendant wants trial

Cary Ashby • Nov 6, 2012 at 11:20 AM

A Norwalk man charged with brutally beating the infant son of his one-time live-in girlfriend plans to make a prosecutor prove his case.

Christoffer M. Mills, 30, of 309 Edwards Road, turned down an unspecified plea deal offered by Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler.

"We made an offer," Leffler told Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway without elaborating at Monday's hearing.

Leffler also said he would be recommending a sentence "in excess of 10 years" at the conclusion of the Jan. 29 trial. The prosecutor expects the proceedings to last a minimum of three to four days.

Monday was the last day for Mills to accept a plea deal -- something his attorney, John Allton, asked him in court. Mills quietly said he understood and said he wants to take the case to trial.

Mills faces two counts of felonious assault and one charge of endangering children.

One of the felonious assault charges is in connection with a July 19 incident while the other second-degree felony stems from an offense between June 1 and July 1. Endangering children, a third-degree felony, is in connection with an incident between May 15 and July 18.

Mills was living with the victim's mother when the abuse allegations came to light.

In late July, the Huron County Department of Job and Family Services (HCDJFS) alleged a 9-month-old boy was believed to be abused and neglected. Juvenile court records indicate the child was brought to Fisher-Titus Medical Center with broken bones July 19 and three days later, came back with "symptoms of injury."

The boy was transported to Akron Children's Hospital, where Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard interviewed Mills. Howard said earlier Mills was "deceitful" at first, but he eventually admitted to losing his temper with the infant and injured him. The sheriff also said the suspect told him "the child paid the price" for his temper.

Doctors determined the infant sustained various rib fractures, a tibia "with past and present fractures" and a broken wrist, according to court documents.

The victim remains in the temporary custody of HCDJFS and is in foster care. His parents have been granted supervised but separate visitation.

A further disposition hearing in Huron County Juvenile Court will be held in February. There is a pending hearing about a motion to suppress evidence in common pleas court.

If Mills posts his $100,000 bond, he is prohibited from having any association with any child under the age of 18. He has been unable to make bail since his arrest in late July.

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