DA to seek enhanced term in child beating
That decision is designed to produce a stiffer sentence on conviction.
Abo, 29, has been indicted by a grand jury on two counts each of first-degree assault and first-degree criminal mistreatment in connection with the case. Assault is a Class A felony carrying a lengthy mandatory minimum prison sentence under Measure 11, and criminal mistreatment is a Class C felony.
The alleged acts would normally fall under county jurisdiction, but due to Abo’s previous county employment, the case was handled by the McMinnville police.
“Enhancement factors, when proven, would allow the court, if it wishes, to upward depart from a presumptive sentence,” District Attorney Brad Berry said. “In other words, these are aggravating factors that, when proven, would allow a court to give a longer sentence.”
Abo allegedly beat his live-in girlfriend’s 4-year-old son on multiple occasions at his Sheridan residence, inflicting critical, life-threatening injuries. The toddler suffered a traumatic brain injury in addition to major injuries to his body, including scrotal bruising and seven broken ribs.
In late February, Capt. Matt Scales of the McMinnville police said the boy, then being treated at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, was showing some signs of improvement. He said investigators might try to interview him if he regains the ability to communicate in a meaningful way.
Since then, his mother, 29-year-old Brandy Robertson, now living in Troutdale, has been charged with one count each of criminal mistreatment and recklessly endangering another person. She was granted conditional release, provided she have no unsupervised contact with her son, who was made a ward of the state.
Scales said that prevents him from providing further updates, due to state Department of Human Resources privacy regulations. He could not even say whether the boy remained hospitalized or not.
Abo is being held in the Washington County Jail in Hillsboro on $500,000 bail. His next circuit court appearance is set for 3 p.m. Monday, May 12. With the exception of his initial arraignment, he has been appearing by video from Washington County.
Abo told detectives the child had fallen down a stairwell at his Sheridan home. However, a doctor at OHSU said the massive and extensive injuries were not consistent with such a fall. He attributed them to “blunt force trauma” inflicted on at least two separate occasions.
Scales said Robertson’s arrest stemmed from extensive follow-up investigation in an effort to piece together the elements of the boy’s tragic life. He said she was interviewed, along with friends, relatives and co-workers.
She is next due in court at 3 p.m. Monday, April 21.