13-year prison sentence for Elgin man who abused, shook 7-week-old baby
A 25-year-old Elgin man was sentenced to 13 years in prison Friday for breaking the leg of his live-in girlfriend's 7-week-old son in March 2016 and later shaking the baby, causing permanent injuries that require constant care.
Anthony B. Briden, of the 400 block of South Belmont Avenue, was arrested in March 2016 and charged with aggravated domestic battery and aggravated battery of a child under 13, a felony that carries a top prison term of 30 years.
In late 2018, Briden pleaded guilty to breaking the infant's leg while yanking him from a bassinet because he was crying and to abusing the baby three days later by shaking him while under Briden's care and supervision.
The boy, now 3, lives with his grandmother in Hanover Park and requires constant care; the child is blind, cannot walk or talk and must be fed through a stomach tube.
"He broke our little boy," the toddler's grandmother, Carrie Schallow, wrote in a victim impact statement that was read in court last week. "In that moment, (Briden) took away everything for him and us. Tony took away the life we all wanted for (my grandson)."
Briden faced a maximum 37 years in prison for both offenses; Assistant State's Attorney Bill Engerman argued for 17 years behind bars, noting that Briden has been unable to control his anger and violence since he was a teen.
Defense attorney Ken Johnson pushed for the minimum of nine years, saying Briden suffered from depression and bipolar disorder.
Kane County Judge John Barsanti acknowledged it was a "case of high emotion" but added that no sentence imposed on Briden could change what had happened.
"I can't make it 'even' for the parents of that child," Barsanti said. "It is not within my authority to make this come out even. It's just not possible."
Barsanti sentenced Briden to 10 years in prison for shaking the baby and three years for breaking his leg. The sentences are to be served consecutively, or one after the other, and Briden must register as a violent offender after his release.
Under state law, Briden must serve 85 percent of the 13-year sentence, or about 11 years. He also gets credit for 37 months served at the Kane County jail while the case was pending.