CONCORD, N.H. -- A Concord man is being held in state prison on a probation violation, on charges that he severely beat his girlfriend's 3-year-old son in January.
Indictments released Friday charged the man, Jeremy Morrison, 22, with seven counts of assault. Doctors at Concord Hospital said one of the boy's legs had been twisted until it broke. The boy also had been bitten and hit on the face, neck, back, and buttocks.
Normally, first-degree assault carries a penalty of seven to 15 years in prison. But prosecutors have asked for as much as 30 extra years on each charge if Morrison is convicted, because of the victim's age. Morrison is being held in lieu of $1 million in bail.
According to a police affidavit, Morrison assaulted the toddler while he was baby-sitting. At the time, his 18-year-old girlfriend, whose name was not released, was at the Tilton police station being arrested on check forgery charges. When she got home, Morrison told her the boy had fallen, but she did not believe him and took her son to her mother's house in Pittsfield. The mother later took him to a hospital.
Initially, Morrison was ordered held at the Merrimack County jail on $1 million cash bail, pending trial. Last month, however, he was moved to the state prison for violating probation on convictions from a police chase four years ago.
Authorities say Morrison will be in prison for at least two years, and he faces another probation violation hearing that could extend the confinement.
Police said Morrison was driving faster than 100 miles per hour, and did not stop until he ran out of gas in Barnstead, tried to pull into a gas station, and landed in a field, where his car burst into flames.
According to authorities, Morrison ran, and police pulled his three passengers to safety.
He was on probation for the chase convictions when he was arrested on the child assault charges. On Feb. 17, a Rockingham County Superior Court judge sentenced Morrison to a pair of two- to four-year sentences for violating his probation.
A second probation hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Merrimack County Superior Court, because the chase went through communities in that county.