AUBURN — A Lewiston man will spend 2½ years in prison for fracturing his 2-month-old son’s skull.

A judge in Androscoggin County Superior Court sentenced Allen-Michael St. Claire, 24, to seven years in prison, but suspended 4½ years as a cap agreed to by St. Claire and prosecutors.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Robinson asked Active-Retired Justice Carl Bradford to impose that maximum time in prison; defense attorney Leonard Sharon sought less prison time for his client.

Bradford said he could not “in good conscience” give St. Claire less time behind bars.

If the case had gone to trial and St. Claire had been convicted, the prison time he would have to serve would have been closer to 10 years, the maximum for the Class B crime of aggravated assault, Bradford said.

But prosecutors were unsure whether St. Claire’s confession would have been allowed at trial, considering his admissions were made before he was informed of his constitutional rights.

The greatest aggravating factor in the case was the age of the “helpless baby,” Bradford said.

Bonnie Corbin told the judge Tuesday that when she woke up on May 10, 2013, at her Auburn home, the right side of her son’s head was swollen to twice its normal size and had a greenish hue.

St. Claire denied any knowledge of the injury, then looked to deflect the blame. He said a fan had fallen on their baby, Connor, who was rushed from the pediatrician’s office to the hospital. Only later did St. Claire admit to having slammed his son’s head into a door frame because he was fussy from a bout of pneumonia.

Corbin said St. Claire had cared more about what was going to happen to himself than their baby. For the past 14 months, he has been free to party with friends, she said.

Corbin’s mother, Tracey Matzen, told the judge St. Claire had not shown signs of remorse.

The prognosis for Connor is unknown, she said. At 16 months, he has yet to speak one word.

After the sentencing, Corbin said, “I’m happy there’s finally justice for Connor.”

Robinson said, “You could not get a more vulnerable victim and you could not have more of a betrayal of trust.”

The prison time requested by prosecutors was aimed at signaling to the community that “if you dare to commit a crime against a child of this nature, you should not be expecting a county jail sentence (of up to a year), that it is going to be a significant jail sentence,” Robinson said.

Sharon said his client had made a full disclosure to Corbin, “admitting full responsibility” for his son’s injury.

“There’s nothing I can say that’s going to justify and make up for the heinous crime I committed,” St. Claire said as he stood facing the judge. “I was overwhelmed. I was stressed. I was unprepared and immature. I was selfish and I thought about myself at the time.”

He said he had become upset that the boy’s mother had been talking to another man when she was pregnant. St. Claire said he became withdrawn, playing video games and smoking marijuana and pretending to be somebody else. He didn’t think his son liked him and doubted his ability to be the father he wanted to be.

“I had a lot of resentment and a lot of anger. I directed that towards my son. Nobody deserves that, ever,” he said.

St. Claire said his life has changed for the better over the past year since he has been seeing a counselor.

He apologized to Corbin’s family and prayed his son would be OK.

He pleaded guilty in April to the most serious of three assault charges. Prosecutors dropped the two lesser felony charges.

A police detective interviewed St. Claire, who eventually said he hit the baby’s head against an interior door frame during the night. He retraced his steps in the home for police.

Sharon said St. Claire would like to have a relationship with his son but decided not to pursue that until after serving his sentence.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.