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MAN, 19, IS ACCUSED OF BEATING BABY

The child, who is likely brain-dead, has been abused since March, deputies say.

A 1-year-old is clinging to life following a series of beatings by a 19-year-old Brooksville man who became angry over the infant's crying, an arrest report said.

David McBurnett, an unemployed laborer, faces one count of aggravated child abuse for the beating of his girlfriend's son, whose name was not released.

The Hernando County sheriff's report states, "There is a likelihood that the victim has no brain activity.''

Authorities said that according to witnesses, the abuse began in March and continued until the time of McBurnett's arrest Thursday afternoon.

During that time, McBurnett lived with his girlfriend at her mother's house on Geronimo Street in Brooksville. The girlfriend, who was not identified, said in an affidavit that on numerous occasions she saw McBurnett strike her son in an effort to stop the baby from crying.

The abuse included hitting the infant in the hands and feet using a remote control, striking the infant on the torso and head with a sandal and with his open hand.

Most recently, the affidavit stated, McBurnett grabbed the baby by the face and squeezed.

Authorities said that upon questioning, McBurnett admitted to committing the abuse.

Investigators revealed the extent of the victim's injuries, which consisted of internal bleeding, a fractured rib and numerous bruises.

McBurnett remains in Hernando County Jail on a no-bond status. His arraignment has been set for Oct. 13.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1435.

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