A St. Paul man who badly hurt his girlfriend’s 9-month-old son was ordered to undergo anger management training and placed on probation for five years, court records say.

Ramsey County District Judge Stephen Smith also sentenced Eric Mercado Magana to serve 131 days in jail at a hearing Tuesday, but gave him credit for the 131 days he already served.

If the 22-year-old fails to abide by the terms of his probation, which also require him to receive random drug testing and cognitive skills training, he faces 18 months in prison.

Magana pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree assault this past May.

He was arrested after his girlfriend brought her 9-month-old son to the doctor for a checkup last March 8.

During his examination, medical staff discovered the child had several fractured ribs as well as a skull fracture and other injuries, according to legal documents. The injuries necessitated surgery to alleviate fluid that had built up around his brain.

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The boy’s mother told officers that she had noticed swelling on the boy’s head the day after he’d been alone with Magana but thought it had gone down.

Magana had been ordered by county child-protection workers not to have contact with the boy after the infant sustained facial trauma while he was watching him last December.

At that time, Magana told doctors that the child was hurt falling off a couch, but medical staff determined that the explanation didn’t add up, legal documents say.

When additional injuries and bruises were found at the boy’s nine-month check-up, the boy’s mother admitted that Magana had been abusive toward her in the past and that she worried that he might have been to her son as well.

Magana’s attorney, public defender Evan Tsai, said his client opted not to make a statement before his sentencing Tuesday morning.

“I believe my client resolved his case because he thought it was the right thing to do,” Tsai said on his behalf. “He has since taken advantage of programming to address parenting and other personal challenges.”


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