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California

Dad beat and tried to drown 8-month-old son, prosecutors say

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 18, 2017 --The Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center is the county co
Michael Freeman, 29, is expected to be arraigned Tuesday at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles on attempted murder and child abuse charges.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

A father who authorities say beat, strangled and tried to drown his 8-month-old son pleaded not guilty Tuesday to attempted murder and child abuse charges.

Michael Freeman, 29, was visiting from his home in Nashville on Thursday when he grabbed his son away from the child’s mother and locked himself and the baby in an unoccupied room of an apartment in the 800 block of South Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles, authorities said.

The boy’s mother called police and when officers arrived, they said they found Freeman beating the baby. The boy’s injuries were consistent with attempted strangulation and attempted drowning, Deputy Dist. Atty. Jonathan Hatami told a Los Angeles Superior Court judge during an arraignment hearing Tuesday.

The infant was taken to a hospital in critical condition and may have permanent neurological injuries, Hatami said.

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Freeman was on parole and supervised release in Tennessee following his conviction in a federal drug case. He also has been accused in two incidents of domestic violence involving his son’s mother and two of her other children since his release, Hatami said.

He is being held without bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

City News Service contributed to this report.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

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Twitter: @Hannahnfry


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