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Fargo man gets prison for child abuse

A 39-year-old man received three years in prison Monday for dropping his then 3-month-old son headfirst and hitting him with a closed fist, leaving the child with multiple skull fractures and broken ribs.

Corey Wade Cowdrey of Fargo initially denied hurting the boy but later admitted the allegations to police, saying the child wouldn't stop crying, Cass County District Court documents state.

Cowdrey had faced two Class B felony charges of child abuse or child neglect, but prosecutors dismissed one of the charges after Cowdrey pleaded guilty in December.

East Central Judicial District Judge John Irby sentenced Cowdrey on Monday to five years, first to serve three years with the balance suspended for five years of supervised probation. Cowdrey is to have no contact with the child and register as an offender against children.

Prosecutor Ryan Younggren had recommended an eight-year sentence, saying Cowdrey has shown no remorse.

"Here we have really a man who should have known better," said Younggren, an assistant state's attorney.

Younggren added he finds it troubling that Cowdrey has no alcohol or chemical dependency issues on which to blame the behavior.

"This is just who Corey is," he said. "This is just what he did to his child."

Defense attorney Bruce Quick argued for one year in jail, saying his client has no prior convictions and took responsibility for his actions.

"A year in the county jail is a serious sentence," Quick argued.

Cowdrey apologized before being sentenced, saying he misses his son and won't make any excuses.

"Everything was my fault," he said. He did not react when sentenced.

Irby said he was bothered by allegations that Cowdrey expressed resentment toward his son, now almost 2, and that there was evidence of prior abuse. He also noted Cowdrey did not admit his role or seek help until investigators knew he was to blame.

The child's aunt, Jody Jensen, said that caused a lot of pain for the family.

"He didn't take responsibility for his actions at first and that was devastating because it cast a shadow of doubt not only on me, but on my sister," said Jody Jensen, referring to the child's mother.