A Delaware man entered an Alford plea to two charges Tuesday morning related to injuries sustained by an 11-month-old in January.
Abdurahman Mohamed Abdurahman, 23, was scheduled to stand trial Tuesday in Delaware County Common Pleas Court to face a count of felonious assault, a second-degree felony, and two counts of endangering children, third-degree felonies. However, before the jury was brought in Abdurahman and prosecutors reached a plea agreement.
Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Douglas Dumolt detailed the plea agreement for Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley and said Abdurahman will be entering an Alford plea to the felonious assault charge, a second-degree felony and to a charge of attempted endangering children, a fourth-degree felony.
Gormley clarified that an Alford plea means that Abdurahman is maintaining his innocence but believes the prosecutor’s evidence is strong enough to convince a jury that he is guilty. Abdurahman said he entered the plea to two charges to avoid the possible sentence of the original three charges.
As part of the plea agreement, the remaining endangering children charge was dismissed. Dumolt said that he and Abdurahman’s defense attorneys would jointly recommend that Abdurahman be sentenced to four years and 11 months in prison.
Dumolt then informed the judge about the circumstances that led to the plea. Dumolt said on Jan. 13, Abdurahman and his then-girlfriend, Natasha Moore, 29, rushed to a local children’s hospital because Moore’s son, Phoenyx was unresponsive. Phoenyx was admitted and immediately given life-saving medical treatment.
However, the doctors diagnosed Phoenyx with retinal separation, a condition caused by the separation of layers of the eye, and contacted Delaware County Job and Family Services to file a report of abuse since the condition is commonly linked to abused or shaken babies. Abdurahman and Moore said the boy had been like that for several hours and they had been the only ones to interact with him in the past two days.
Dumolt said the boy was also diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and at an earlier hearing said the boy’s life would likely end prematurely due to his injuries.
Dumolt said the felonious assault charge was for the injuries that Phoenyx sustained and said the attempted endangering children charge was for not immediately taking the boy to the hospital when he saw his condition.
Judge Gormley accepted the plea agreement, ordered a pre-sentence report and scheduled a sentencing hearing for Dec. 16 at 8:30 a.m.
Natasha Moore was originally set to stand trial with Abdurahman, but entered a guilty plea to a charge of child endangerment, a third-degree felony at a change of plea hearing on Nov. 15. At the hearing Moore said she was negligent and should have taken Phoenyx to the hospital sooner.
Moore will be sentenced on Dec. 28.
The pair were indicted by a Delaware County Grand Jury on Jan. 22. They were in the Delaware County Jail Tuesday after both of their bonds were revoked for violations.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.