SKOWHEGAN – A former Bingham man was found guilty Friday in Somerset County Superior Court in what the district attorney described as a shaken-baby case.

Don E. LaRouche II, 24, was convicted by a jury after a three-day trial, said District Attorney Evert Fowle. The convictions were for aggravated assault and assault on a child under the age of 6.

LaRouche’s son was 5½ months old at the time of the incident in Bingham, on Dec. 28, 2007. LaRouche was indicted by a Somerset County grand jury in January 2008.

LaRouche, who later moved to Madison, has always maintained his innocence, defense attorney Jason Jabar of Waterville said Friday.

”The defense was that he didn’t commit the crime as charged,” Jabar said. ”Don, from when he called 911 to when he talked to the police, it was always consistent that he responded to his baby in the crib and he was having a hard time breathing.”

”It was thought that one of the possibilities was that the brain injuries stemmed from a deprivation of oxygen, a lack of oxygen. The jury did not accept that it was naturally occurring,” Jabar said.

Fowle said the child suffered permanent brain damage from the assault. The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Friday before returning a guilty verdict.

”He’s always denied it and there weren’t any witnesses to it,” Fowle said. ”But from the damage that has been inflicted, there can be no explanation or justification for it.”

Fowle said LaRouche had no prior criminal record.

Justice John Nivison revoked LaRouche’s bail after the verdict Friday.

LaRouche was taken to the Somerset County Jail to await sentencing at the end of March. Assistant District Attorney James Mitchell was the prosecutor for the state.

”I want to review every detail with the prosecutor before we make a final decision on a recommendation for sentencing, but it should be a harsh sentence for the damage he’s caused,” Fowle said.


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