Casper Resident Admits Abusing Toddler
A Casper man accused of breaking the arm of a 20-month-old child entered a guilty plea to a reduced charge Wednesday morning in Natrona County District Court.
Anthon Keevin Skansberg pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse before District Judge Daniel Forgey as part of a plea agreement. The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The plea deal allowed Skansberg to plead guilty to a lesser charge, which was originally filed as aggravated child abuse. State statute regarding the aggravated crime provides for a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors will also recommend a prison sentence of no more than three and a half years. The state also agreed to the dismissal of two additional charges: child endangerment by methamphetamine and misdemeanor methamphetamine possession.
Skansberg will be sentenced following the completion of a presentence investigation.
Charging papers say the victim was taken to the Wyoming Medical Center emergency room in April with a broken arm. A doctor then found that the child had three fractures, all in different stages of healing.
The doctor took protective custody of the child and told police that "abuse was [a] very reasonable explanation for the injuries."
Skansberg told a detective that he did not cause the injuries.
In an affidavit of probable cause, the detective laid out a timeline of the child's alleged abuse, which spanned roughly four months.
On January 19, the child was hospitalized for leg pain. The child also had a fresh black eye and skeletal scans did not show injury to the leg. At that point, Skansberg was dating the child's mother.
The child's babysitter told a Department of Family Services agent that the child had a black eye on Jan. 25.
In late March, the mother reportedly needed her three children picked up because there was no food in the home. A lump was found on the victim's right forearm, and was suspected to have been the result of a bite. A bite mark, evidently from an adult, was also found on the child's stomach.
That same day, the victim's grandmother called DFS and said Skansberg was living with the victim's mother, but "he should not be around the children."
The police investigation began April 18 when the victim was taken to the hospital for a broken arm. At the time the affidavit of probable cause was submitted to the court, a decision had not been as to whether the fracture and resulting nerve damage would require surgery.
In discussing Skansberg's bond in court Wednesday, Assistant District Attorney Kevin Taheri told Judge Forgey that Skansberg had previously failed to appear for court hearings on multiple occasions and had previously been convicted of battery and a felony forgery charge.
Public defender Dylan Rosalez asked Forgey to reduce Skansberg's bond to a personal recognizance bond in the amount of $5,000 or a bond of $5,000 cash or surety.
Forgey replied that a meaningful bond was still appropriate in the case, and lowered Skansberg's bond from $25,000 cash or surety to $15,000 cash or surety.
Skansberg remained in custody at the time of Wednesday's hearing.