Man accused of 'barbaric' abuse after baby hospitalized with brain injury, broken bones, police say

Chadwick Haldeman, 40, was arrested last week after the baby was taken to Spalding Regional Hospital with multiple broken bones, a brain injury and what appeared to be cigarette burns, police said. 

The child was taken in for treatment by his mother, who believed he was suffering from an infection and pink eye, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday in a news release. 

But doctors noticed the child was lethargic and “in obvious distress,” authorities said.

“Tests on the baby showed that it was suffering from multiple breaks, including left arm, left leg, left elbow, right shoulder, spinal fractures, broken ribs, multiple burns that appear to have been caused by a cigarette and a traumatic brain injury,” Sheriff Darrell Dix said. 

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Police executed a search warrant at a home along Ramsey Circle and arrested Haldeman on Friday, jail records show.

“In an interview conducted with Haldeman by investigators, he admitted in detail to methodically hurting the child, how and what he did,” Dix said in the release. “The confession was graphic, detailed, and my investigators describe it as sickening. What was done to this 7-month-old baby was nothing short of barbaric.” 

Police said Haldeman is not the child’s father. 

Dix said in his 32 years of law enforcement, he has “never encountered anything this evil.”

“Haldeman was cold, calculated and intentional in his actions,” the sheriff said. 

The investigation is ongoing and police are looking into the roles the child’s mother and others may have played in the abuse, authorities said. 

The baby boy was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where he remains in critical condition and on life support, according to police.

Haldeman is charged with two counts of aggravated assault with intent to murder, five counts of first-degree cruelty to children, four counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated battery, 23 counts of possession of THC oil, 23 counts of possession of THC oil with intent to distribute, and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, authorities said.

He remains held without bond at the Spalding County jail. 

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