An Edinburgh father was sentenced to nine years in prison after pleading guilty to throwing his weeks-old daughter across the room.
Bradley Kyle Eddelman, 24, pleaded guilty to charges of battery resulting in bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old and neglect of a dependent. His daughter suffered a skull fracture after Eddelman threw her across the room and into the wooden arm rest of a couch when she wouldn’t stop crying, police said.
He also was sentenced to one year on probation.
Johnson Circuit Judge Mark Loyd sympathized with a parent at their wit’s end, trying to console a crying infant, but said he couldn’t understand why Eddelman would choose to throw the child across a room.
“This is a much, much more violent circumstance than you think it is,” Loyd said.
Eddelman could have served a maximum of 10 years in prison under an agreement with the prosecutor’s office. Johnson County deputy prosecutor Ryan Bland requested eight years in prison with two years of probation, but Loyd decided to give him more prison time.
Eddelman told the judge it was his fault his daughter was seriously injured. But Loyd felt the incident was worse than a bad decision by a frustrated parent.
On Oct. 9, police received a call from the Indiana Department of Child Services to investigate the hospitalization of 5-week-old girl with a skull fracture.
Ashley Eddelman, the baby’s mother and Bradley Eddelman’s wife, left the house about 2 p.m. the day before to run errands and visit her parents.
When she returned home that afternoon, she found Bradley Eddelman consoling the baby, who had a swollen bump on her head and was crying.
Bradley Eddelman told his wife that he had accidentally dropped the baby while picking her up out of the crib, the report said.
Around 6 p.m., Ashley Eddelman noticed the swelling had not gone down, and when she touched the spot the baby began screaming and crying.
That night, they took the baby to visit her mother-in-law, who is a registered nurse. She told them the injury appeared to be serious and they should go to the hospital. After a visit to Columbus Regional Health, the baby was flown to Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis.
A nurse at the Columbus hospital also noticed bruises and finger impressions on the baby’s back and legs, the report said.
During an interview with police, Bradley Eddelman told an officer that he threw the baby across the living room about 10 feet because she wouldn’t stop crying, according to the report.
Bradley Eddelman said in court Thursday that day was the first time his wife had left him alone with the child, and he felt uncomfortable caring for the girl by himself.
He had served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, including a four-month tour in Afghanistan, and said he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following his service.
Bland pointed out Bradley Eddelman continued to lie to his wife and did not attempt to take his daughter to the hospital because he knew he would be arrested.
“You were more afraid of being in jail than the safety of your daughter,” Bland said.
His attorney, Jeffrey Eggers, said that being placed in work release or community corrections and being allowed to attend a counseling program would be more beneficial than prison for Bradley Eddelman, who has no prior record and was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps at the end of his service.
“He’s had an episode that has completely ruined his life and seriously injured his child,” Eggers said.
Loyd didn’t view the incident as a one-time mistake and said several years in prison would give Bradley Eddelman more time to figure out why he hurt his child.
Bradley Eddelman, 897 E. Main Cross St., Apt. B, was given 330 days credit for the time he’s already served in jail and was ordered to undergo anger and psychological evaluations, attend parenting classes, pay $5,892 in restitution and was blocked from having any contact with his daughter.
“You are not a monster, but you are a broken person right now,” Loyd said. “It was all in your hands, and you failed miserably.”