A Butte man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony charge alleging that he fractured the skull of his 10-week-old old son and broke his arm and shin bone.
Ronald Edwin Ortiz-Cabrera, who turns 28 on Friday, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine if convicted of assault on a minor, with the victim being less than 36 months old.
He entered his plea before District Court Judge Kurt Krueger, who set the next hearing for Nov. 8. Ortiz-Cabrera is to remain in jail pending bail set at $50,000.
According to prosecutors, the infant was brought to the St. James Healthcare emergency room on May 11. Doctors determined that his skull was fractured in six places and he had some bleeding on the brain, and he was flown to a hospital in Kalispell for more treatment.
Physicians there also discovered that his shin bone and arm were broken, but despite the injuries, surgery was not needed.
Ortiz-Cabrera told police he was caring for the child while downstairs in his “man cave,” where he plays video games and watches TV, and the boy would not go to sleep after his bottle. He thought the boy was hungry again.
While carrying the boy in his arm and into the kitchen, one of the swinging doors struck the back of the infant’s head, Ortiz-Cabrera said. The boy started screaming, and his mother rushed downstairs to check on him.
One of the doctors in Butte told officers there was no way such extensive injuries would have occurred from a swinging door. Police later had Ortiz-Cabrera demonstrate what he said occurred at the house.
Ortiz-Cabrera had to bend his knees and then lean forward and then down in order for the boy to have hit his head on top of the swinging door as he initially described, prosecutors said in the charging document.
“The mechanism of injury does not fit the severity of the injury itself,” it said.