A 22-year-old Peoria man faces up to 16 years in prison after pleading guilty Friday to violently shaking his 6-month-old nephew last year.
Benjamin J. Fuller of 3431 W. Oakcrest Drive pleaded to one count of aggravated battery to a child as part of a deal with Peoria County prosecutors that saw lesser counts of aggravated battery and reckless conduct dismissed.
Without the deal, he would have faced up to 30 years in prison. He faces at least six years in prison - probation isn't an option - when sentenced Feb. 8 by Circuit Judge Kevin Lyons.
Assistant State's Attorney Donna Cruz said Fuller was watching his nephew in mid December 2011, while the infant's parents were away training with the military. He told police he got angry with the child and at some point during the week, he shook the boy as well as "put him down on the floor," causing the child to bang his head on the ground.
The parents got alarmed when Fuller told them the infant was vomiting. A check by doctors revealed signs of abusive head trauma or what used to be called shaken baby syndrome.