A Mills man on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to a single felony alleging he broke an infant’s skull and cause a traumatic brain injury.
Tyrell Wimer, 30, entered the plea to a single count of aggravated child abuse, which alleges he injured a 6-month-old boy last year. He is not related to the child.
At the Wednesday morning hearing, Wimer appeared free on bond and spoke only to answer procedural questions before entering his plea.
When Judge Daniel Forgey asked him to enter a plea, Wimer’s defense attorney whispered toward him: “not guilty.” Wimer leaned over a courtroom lectern and repeated the two word phrase to the judge.
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Court documents filed in support of the case are heavily redacted. They state, however, that the alleged abuse dates to early October, when the boy’s mother left her two children with Wimer while she worked.
The child moaned in the night, according to the documents. Early the next morning, the woman checked on the infant and found bruising on his arm, the documents state. She took the child to Wyoming Medical Center, where a physician said the baby may have been a victim of child abuse.
A medical helicopter took the baby to a Denver area children’s hospital, where he was diagnosed with six broken bones — including the skull fracture — and a traumatic brain injury, the documents state. According to medical staff there, the brain injury could lead to long-term disability.
In an interview with a police detective, Wimer said that he did not abuse the child, but the documents state he said he could have accidentally stepped on the boy while moving boxes.
“I thought I handled him properly, maybe I didn’t,” the documents state he told a detective. “I don’t know.”
The child abuse pediatrician who treated the baby told the detective that the skull fracture could only be the result of intentional abuse, according to the documents. She said the injuries, taken together, demonstrate the boy was in a physically abusive environment.