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Deanthony Hodges appears Monday in Rock County Court, where he pleaded guilty to negligence resulting in the death of a child.

BELOIT

A Beloit man charged in the death of his infant son in March 2017 has pleaded guilty in the case, avoiding a more severe homicide charge and a subsequent trial that was scheduled to begin this week.

Deanthony C. Hodges, 35, appeared in person Monday at the Rock County Courthouse before Judge Barbara McCrory and pleaded guilty to neglect of a child resulting in death and felony bail jumping.

With the plea agreement with the Rock County District Attorney’s Office, the original charge of first-degree reckless homicide was dropped.

Hodges is charged in the death of 7-week-old Amanii C. Hodges on March 20, 2017. Defense attorney Matthew Lantta said during Monday’s hearing that the plea agreement included the recommendation to include three years imprisonment for the bail jumping charge, but Lantta noted both parties can argue the length of incarceration for the neglect charge at sentencing.

The felony bail jumping charge stems from Hodges’ past contact with Amanii’s mother, Jessica A. Nelson, of Beloit, who also is charged in the case. She faces a charge of neglect of a child resulting in death and multiple bail jumping charges tied to contact with Hodges.

Nelson’s case was not given a court date, but officials said it would continue after conclusion of the Hodges case.

As previously reported by Adams Publishing Group, Beloit police responded to a home in the 700 block of Euclid Avenue around 1:58 p.m. where a baby was reported to be unresponsive. Hodges told police he had been watching his son since earlier that morning, prepared a bottle for the baby’s feeding and then found Amanii to be no longer breathing.

Beloit Memorial Hospital staff advised Beloit police the injuries sustained by the infant were consistent with being shaken or physically attacked.

According to court records that cite medical experts who assisted in the investigation, Amanii suffered a brain bleed caused by significant head trauma, a fracture to the back of his skull and retinal hemorrhages due to head trauma. A doctor cited in the criminal complaint notes the force needed to cause the injuries was consistent with that of a high-speed traffic crash in which a person is unrestrained, also noting the injures were consistent with the shaking or slamming of a child.

After Monday’s hearing, McCrory did not revoke Hodges’ $10,500 cash bond posted April 28, 2020. A sentencing hearing is scheduled Aug. 6.

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