VENTURA : Man Denies Guilt in Blinding of Infant

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A Ventura man accused of blinding his infant son pleaded not guilty to two counts of child abuse Wednesday in Ventura County Superior Court.

Judge Allan L. Steele set a June 24 trial date for Don Ray Boyd, 22.

Boyd is accused of shaking his son, Jacob Lee Payne, so violently that the retinas of the baby’s eyes were detached, causing permanent blindness. Boyd, who was baby-sitting 3-month-old Jacob while the baby’s mother was working, told investigators that he shook the infant for 20 to 30 seconds because he would not stop crying.

The incident occurred Sept. 27 at the Ventura residence where Boyd and the mother were house-sitting.


Boyd also faces a misdemeanor count of child abuse stemming from allegations that he slapped the baby while attending the Ventura County Fair about a month earlier.

Boyd remains in Ventura County Jail with bail set at $15,000.