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Man who broke infant's leg, arm gets new hearing | News

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Man who broke infant's leg, arm gets new hearing


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Kent County man imprisoned in child abuse case that left an infant with 13 broken bones has won a new hearing that could alter a sentence that has him in prison for at least 11 years.

Andrew Pedro Valdez, 29, was convicted in the Oct. 2011 beating that left his then-girlfriend's son with a broken arm, broken leg and multiple rib fractures.

The incident occurred at York Creek Apartments in Comstock Park as Valdez was removing the boy from a car seat. Kent County investigators at the time said Valdez was upset with his girlfriend for "making him get the child ready,'' court records show.

His mother took him to the hospital after a babysitter noticed something wrong with the boy's leg. Staff at DeVos Children's Hospital notified police.

At trial, Valdez maintained his innocence; his attorney suggested the boy's mother might be responsible. Jurors didn't buy it. Valdez was convicted of first-degree child abuse, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

A 2006 conviction for stealing a car allowed the court to sentence Valdez to additional time.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Leiber sentenced him to a minimum term of 14 years, 7 months in prison. The maximum term was fixed at 22 ½ years.

Valdez is at Bellamy Creek Correctional Center in Ionia; his earliest release date isn't until November, 2026.

Valdez is one of more than 220 state inmates to petition the Michigan Supreme Court for new sentence hearings based on its July ruling that guidelines mandating prison terms are unconstitutional. More than two dozen of those petitions are from West Michigan counties.

The High Court has issued orders in nearly 170 of those cases, including three this week. Several of the recent orders involve high profile cases,including former major league ballplayer Chad Curtis, who was granted a re-sentencing hearing on his August, 2013 sexual assault convictions.  

Justices directed the Valdez case back to Kent County Circuit Court "to determine whether the court would have imposed a materially different sentence'' based on the July ruling in People v. Lockridge.

It will be up to Judge Leiber to decide whether his Sept. 27, 2012 sentence would have been different if sentencing guidelines did not apply.