PIERRE -- Derek Berman was arrested Saturday, July 15, at his Pierre home on suspicion of beating an infant, committing aggravated battery of an infant that gave it “left-threatening injuries,” police reported Monday.
The expected charge of aggravated assault on a child is a Class 2 felony that carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if he were to be convicted.
Berman, 29, is in the Hughes County Jail in Pierre and was slated to make an initial appearance in state court in Pierre via interactive TV Monday afternoon, July 15.
Police Capt. Bryan Walz said he could not release any information in the condition of the child or Berman’s connection to the child. But he said Berman was arrested after police received a 911 call on Friday, July 12, of possible child abuse. The caller said a two-month old infant had “received serious, life-threatening injuries consistent with that of abuse,” according to a news release from Walz on Monday. “Detectives were able to determine the injuries were caused by Derek Berman and subsequently made the arrest.”
The Hughes County State’s Attorney Roxanne Hammond will decide what charges Berman actually will face.
The ticket from a police officer making the arrest indicated the officer suspected Berman of one count of aggravated battery of an infant, a Class 2 felony with a top sentence of 25 years in prison if he were convicted. The officer also listed a second expected charge of abuse of a child younger than 7 years, a Class 3 felony with a top sentence of 15 years in prison.
The ticket appears also to indicate the alleged crime is suspected as happening at Berman’s home.
No attorney is listed for Berman yet in court documents. Typically a public defender would be assigned to represent him as early as Monday after he fills out a financial form indicating he’s eligible; or he may retain his own attorney.
The police arrest ticket describes Berman as 6 feet tall, 140 pounds.