By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR — A man who pleaded no contest to torture and abuse charges for having beaten his baby to near-death will spend at least the next decade in prison.
Nicholas Alan Spirdione, 23, was sentenced Tuesday by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Gregory D. Bill to sentences of 11 years three months to 20 years in prison for three felony counts: Torture and two counts of first-degree child abuse. Spirdione was also sentenced to a year in prison for assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.
In lieu of a scheduled trial, last month Spirdione pleaded no contest to the five charges that were filed shortly after police responded in April to reports from the 6600 block of Pine Street of a baby who was not breathing and was unresponsive.
Responding officers found, according to police reports, a six-month-old boy who appeared to have been beaten, and was taken to Detroit Children’s Hospital. The infant remained in critical condition for weeks, and made slow recovery after several surgeries.
During preliminary testimony heard in Taylor’s 23rd District Court, prosecutors said Spirdione had been frustrated by the crying infant, and had shaken and assaulted the boy when the mother — Spirdione’s girlfriend — was out of the room.
Spirdione — who had been training to become a paramedic — was found competent in July to understand the charges against him, stand trial and participate in his own defense.
He’d told police and the court that he had not meant to harm his son, and last month accepted the no contest plea rather than face a trial.
Penalties for torture and first-degree child abuse include life in prison.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)