A Delaware man was sentenced to four years and 11 months in prison for charges related to injuries sustained by an 11-month-old in January.
Abdurahman Mohamed Abdurahman, 24, appeared in Delaware County Common Pleas Court Friday morning to be sentenced on a charge of felonious assault, a second-degree felony; and a charge of attempted endangering children, a fourth-degree felony.
Abdurahman entered an Alford Plea to the charges at a hearing in November, meaning he is maintaining his innocence but acknowledging that the evidence is strong enough that he’d likely be found guilty and was taking the plea agreement to get a lighter sentence.
At an earlier hearing Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Doug Dumolt said that 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.
At the change of plea hearing he acknowledged that he and Natasha should have taken Phoenyx to the hospital as soon as they noticed he was unresponsive.
At the sentencing hearing, Assistant Delaware County Prosecutor Douglas Dumolt gave Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley an update on the health of the infant who Abdurahman allegedly abused.
Dumolt reported that Phoenyx is in an assisted-living facility and is mentally diminished. He reported that Phoenyx has made small improvements since he was taken to the hospital in January but said the boy will never live up to the potential of other children.
Gormley discussed a letter from medical personnel caring for Phoenyx and said the boy doesn’t use his left arm and has to be moved in a wheelchair because he won’t put weight on his left leg.
“I don’t want to paint him as monster,” Dumolt said. “He did care for the child. The costs to Phoenyx can’t be quantified.”
Dumolt said the case was “tragic,” and said that while Abdurahman entered the plea he did so to avoid a harsher sentence and not because of genuine remorse. Dumolt said he couldn’t say that the resolution of the case was “imperfect” but was the best resolution for an imperfect system.
Abdurahman also spoke at the sentencing hearing and said he was “extremely remorseful.”
“I take full responsibility for not seeking medical attention soon,” Abdurahman said. “I fell in love with him when I first met him. I’m willing to do everything I can to right my wrong.”
Before reading the sentence, Gormley said he didn’t know what to make of Abdurahman’s remorse and said that while Phoenyx may make small improvements throughout his life he will never fully recover.
Ultimately, Gormley went along with the plea agreement and sentenced Abdurahman to four years in prison for the felonious assault charge and 11 months for the attempted endangering children charge.
Gormley said after Abdurahman is released from prison he will be subject to three years of post-release control. Additionally, Gormley credited Abdurahman 227 days for time he spent in the Delaware County Jail during the case.
Natasha Moore 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 Friday.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.