TAYLORVILLE — A 20-year-old Palmer man has pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a child after prosecutors said he injured his 1-month-old daughter by throwing her to the floor multiple times at her mother's home.

Darrel H. Sanders appeared in Christian County Court on Friday and entered his negotiated plea, according to court records. A sentencing hearing in his case has been scheduled for July 30. Aggravated battery of a child is a Class X felony in Illinois, and typically carries a six- to 30-year prison sentence. 

In Sanders' case, the court records show, the state and court agreed to cap his potential sentence at 18 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Sanders was arrested in February 2018 after medical personnel contacted the Christian County Sheriff's Office about his daughter's severe head injuries. The infant was later transferred to St. Louis Children's Hospital by a critical transport team, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. 

Christian County State's Attorney Mike Havera previously said a medical exam revealed the baby had multiple skull fractures and bleeding on the brain.

Sanders initially waived his right to a preliminary hearing when he appeared in court in March 2018. During a hearing last year, Havera said Sanders admitted during a video-recorded interview with law enforcement that he threw the baby to the floor multiple times from Feb. 15 to Feb. 18. 

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Contact Jaylyn Cook at (217) 421-7980. Follow him on Twitter: @jaylyn_HR


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