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Father admits to crushing leg of 5-month-old
Christopher Lowman appears in District Court Monday morning.

A 22-year-old Billings man charged last year with aggravated assault because of injuries inflicted to his infant daughter pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge.

Christopher Cody Lowman appeared before state District Judge Gregory Todd and pleaded guilty to felony assault on a minor. Lowman admitted that he injured his 5-month-old daughter in August 2007 when he crushed her leg.

A plea agreement calls for prosecutors to recommend that Lowman receive a five-year sentence to the state Department of Corrections. The felony charge carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. Todd scheduled a sentencing hearing Jan. 26, and Lowman remains free until then on a $25,000 bond.

Lowman initially was charged with aggravated assault after his wife brought the couple's daughter to the St. Vincent Healthcare emergency room. Police were called by medical staff after tests revealed that the infant had suffered a crushing injury to her leg. Doctors said the child also had numerous previous wounds that included rib fractures, a fractured forearm and a fractured skull. The fractures showed signs of healing.

The girl's mother told police that her husband was watching their child the day before while she was at work. The baby cried through most of the night, the woman said, before she brought her to the hospital. The woman said she was concerned when she found her daughter's leg swollen.

The woman said she and her husband argued often, and she was worried because he had recently told her that he did not want children anymore.

In the plea agreement, Lowman admitted to injuring the child last year when he "reached for a toy to calm her down and crushed her leg when I put my full weight down on her leg."

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