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Suspect in baby’s assault pleads not guilty

Fri., Oct. 15, 2010, 12:34 p.m.

Nathan J. Cranfield, 21, pictured by KHQ-TV. (KHQ-TV)
Nathan J. Cranfield, 21, pictured by KHQ-TV. (KHQ-TV)

A 21-year-old man accused of critically injuring his girlfriend’s 5-month-old son pleaded not guilty today in Whitman County Superior Court.

Nathan J. Cranfield was arraigned on a first-degree assault charge as his alleged victim, Seth Bold, remains in critical condition at a Spokane hospital.

Medics responded to a report of the boy not breathing Monday at 1:47 a.m. at 407 Main Street in Albion, where Cranfield and Sarah Young lived with the infant.

Young told police she and Nathan had been dating and living together “for a few months.” She said Cranfield woke her up telling “because the baby was not breathing,” according to a probable cause affidavit. Young told police the boy’s biological father lives in Minnesota.

The boy was rushed to Pullman Regional Hospital then taken by helicopter to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Cranfield initially denied hurting the boy, but doctors told police the boy had a traumatic head injury that could only be caused by abuse.

Cranfield later said he’d wrapped the boy tightly in a blanket and rocked him hard and rapidly from side to side, according to the affidavit.

“Nathan then told me that after rocking Seth in this manner, he tossed Seth onto the bed to ‘sort his (stuff) out,’” a Whitman County sheriff’s detective wrote.

Cranfield called 911 after he tossed Seth in his crib, heard a wet burp and discovered the boy wasn’t breathing. Investigators say Cranfield hugged Young at the hospital and Pullman and said “I’m so sorry.”

Cranfield is being held at the Whitman County Jail on $250,000 bond.

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