Father pleads guilty to assaulting infant

Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- A father accused of destroying his infant son's breathing monitor pleaded guilty Tuesday in Juneau Superior Court to a felony assault charge.

Brian Bevelhymer, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree assault.

The plea agreement reached between prosecutor Sue McLean and defense attorney Philip Pallenberg sets the maximum prison time for Bevelhymer at 18 months.

The charges stem from an incident Feb. 18 when Bevelhymer threw a malfunctioning monitor, part of a machine that regulated his then 10-week-old son's oxygen, from a downtown hotel balcony, destroying the monitor.

According to court records, the baby's lungs were underdeveloped. The machine helped him breathe.

The infant was hospitalized for a month after the incident, court records said. Pallenberg said the baby is in the care of a relative.

Pallenberg said at the hearing that Bevelhymer ''strenuously disagrees'' with prosecutors version of case.

Pallenberg told the Juneau Empire that Bevelhymer was drunk and frustrated that day but did not injure the baby or disconnect the machine that gave the child oxygen, only the monitoring device.

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