A San Dimas man was sentenced Wednesday to life in state prison for assaulting his year-old son, who has since undergone numerous skull and brain surgeries.

James David Higbee, who turned 29 today, was convicted Nov. 17 of one felony count each of assault on a child causing paralysis and child abuse.

Jurors found that Higbee personally inflicted great bodily injury during the commission of the crime.

The child’s maternal grandmother dropped her grandson off at Higbee’s home for visitation on Sept. 27, 2011, according to Deputy District Attorney Deborah Scott.

The boy’s paternal grandmother came home after a short trip to the grocery store and noticed that the baby’s body was limp, that his eyes had rolled back in his head and that his breathing was loud and uneven, and directed Higbee to call 911, according to the prosecutor.

Doctors at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center concluded he had suffered two skull fractures and severe brain injuries. The child was subsequently transferred to Loma Linda University Medical Center due to the extensive nature of his injuries.

At Higbee’s trial, doctors testified that the boy — now 4 — has undergone numerous skull and brain surgeries but remains physically disabled.

City News Service

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