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CAMBRIDGE – A Kewanee man entered a negotiated Alford plea to aggravated battery of a child in Henry County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Hunter D. Hand, 21, had been scheduled to go on trial before a jury Thursday.

In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but does admit that the state's evidence is likely sufficient to prove guilt at trial.

In exchange for Hand's plea to a Class 3 felony charge, a Class X charge of aggravated battery was dismissed. He will serve 18 months of probation and 180 days in the county jail with 90 days stayed pending compliance. He also has a fine of $500 plus court costs and was ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with the victim for the next year. He must also register as a violent offender against youth.

The case came to light when Kewanee police were notified Feb. 18, 2018, that an infant had been admitted to a Peoria hospital with bruising on both sides of his face. Hand told police the child fell from a couch and hit an end table, which a doctor said was inconsistent with the injuries. He later said he had been carrying the child to bed when he tripped and fell. According to the charge, the infant incurred multiple rib fractures, a fracture of the L2 facet joint on the back of the spine and bruises on his face, head and body.

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