Man gets 7 years for hurting infant son

Wednesday, April 5, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:55 p.m. CDT, Friday, June 27, 2008

A Columbia man was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday after he pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault in connection with injuries his infant son sustained in April 2005.

A probable cause statement filed with the 13th Circuit Court at the time said the injuries were consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

Ian Michael Balulis, 29, will begin serving that sentence after he finishes serving a three-year sentence for a felony stealing charge to which he pleaded guilty in 2004, said Richard Hicks, assistant prosecuting attorney in the case. The original charge of first-degree assault was reduced as part of a plea agreement, Hicks said.

A probable cause statement by John Short of the Columbia Police Department said Balulis was on probation at the time of his arrest. The statement said the boy was less than three months old at the time and Balulis later implicated himself as the person who inflicted the injuries.

Hicks said that the child is now “doing pretty well,” after being listed in critical condition last year.

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