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Man Charged in Beating Death of Tot Pleads Innocent

Man Charged in Beating Death of Tot Pleads Innocent

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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- A man accused of beating his girlfriend's 2-year-old son to death has pleaded innocent to first-degree felony murder and child abuse.

Clinton L. Rosenbaum, 24, accused in the death of Jackson Burns, entered the pleas Thursday in 2nd District Court.

Judge Darwin C. Hansen set another hearing for July 28. The child's mother, Rachel Susan Burns, 22, has a preliminary hearing Aug. 5 on a charge of child abuse.

Layton police were called to a domestic disturbance at Burns' apartment on June 2. Burns and Rosenbaum were outside fighting when officers arrived. Burns told police she wanted Rosenbaum to leave and he would not.

While investigating the fight, officers became concerned about the child and found him unconscious inside the apartment. The child was flown to Primary Children's Medical Center, where he died.

Charging documents alleged that Rosenbaum, "a martial arts practitioner, violently punched a 2-year-old child in the head with extreme force" because the toddler had hit Rosenbaum's dog with a toy.

Rosenbaum then "tossed the child's limp body into a bedroom and the child's head struck the wooden portion of the bed, causing further injury," the documents allege.

Several hours later, Rosenbaum persuaded Burns to allow him "to burn one of the child's small fingers with a cigarette in an effort to revive him. The burn was so serious as to remove the tip of the child's finger," according to the documents.

The autopsy revealed that the boy previously had been "kicked or hit in the abdomen with such force that it injured him internally, making him sick and causing him to vomit for several days," the documents allege.

Davis County Attorney Mel Wilson said Burns is charged because she allegedly gave Rosenbaum permission to burn the child's finger.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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