Bend man gets 70 months for shaking girlfriend's son
Two-year-old was flown to Portland hospital with life-threatening injuries
A 23-year-old Bend man has been sentenced to nearly six years in prison for severely shaking and nearly killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old son, who has developmental disabilities.
Jeffrey Scott Neeley was sentenced Thursday by Deschutes County Circuit Judge Stephen Forte to the 70-month mandatory minimum sentence for second-degree assault, three days after Neeley entered a guilty plea to the charge.
Police and prosecutors say Neeley was watching the boy for his girlfriend on Nov. 29, 2011 when he received injuries doctors said were consistent with "shaken baby syndrome."
Forte recommended that after serving his time, Neeley not be allowed to have contact with minors without getting his supervising officer's approval.
Neeley has prior convictions for fourth-degree assault, menacing and cocaine delivery and possession.
The boy was flown to the Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland after the incident, and a Bend police investigation led to Neeley's arrest the day after the assault, initially on three counts of probation violation.
Neeley was released from custody on Feb. 14 of this year after posting security, but he was returned to custody after violating conditions of his release, said District Attorney Patrick Flaherty.
In a statement after the sentencing, Flaherty applauded the Bend police efforts in the case, saying, "The officers and detectives who worked on this investigation put in an incredible number of hours and worked hard to ensure justice prevailed for the victim."
The DA also commended Deputy DA Kari Hathorn for her work on the case, as well as state and community partners, from St. Charles-Bend to the Central Oregon Radiology association, calling it "a team effort for a vulnerable victim."
Flaherty reminded all community members to never shake a child, and to go to www.dontshake.org for more information. He also noted a number of community resources available for help, including KIDS Center, Saving Grace and 211 info.
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