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September 23, 2014

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Nellis staff sergeant to make court appearance on child abuse charge

A noncommissioned officer stationed at Nellis Air Force Base awaits a date next week in North Las Vegas Township Justice Court on child abuse charges involving his 3-month-old son.

According to an arrest report, Staff Sgt. Andrew Leach, 31, is accused of causing severe head trauma and other injuries to his son, Aiden.

Leach was taken in to custody Feb. 1, after staff at Sunrise Hospital alerted Metro Police when Aiden was transferred to Sunrise from the air base hospital with critical injuries.

According to a statement Leach provided to a Metro detective, he was preparing a bath for Aiden when the child fell about three feet from Leach’s arms and onto the bathmat on the floor. Leach said the newborn spit up, his arms and legs stiffened and he stopped breathing.

Leach told police he blew into his son’s mouth and “mashed” on his stomach. When the child did not resume breathing, Leach “popped” him on his back. The child then went limp and Leach, unable to find his phone, told neighbors to call 911, according to the arrest report.

Later, Leach said he also shook his son to revive him, and the injuries could be from the shaking.

Leach told police he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, suicidal ideations, alcohol and chemical dependency and depression. He recently completed treatment for mental health issues, and told police he had dropped Aiden in the bath a week prior as well.

Leach denied causing injuries to his son in any manner other than what he described to police.

A doctor at Sunrise Hospital who examined Aiden told police that Leach’s explanation of the baby’s injuries was “not consistent with the severity or type of injury sustained,” according to a Metro arrest report.

Kelly Leach, the child’s mother, told detectives she was at the grocery store when the injuries occurred and that Andrew Leach has always been “rough with the baby” but denied ever seeing him act abusively toward their son.

Leach is charged with child abuse with substantial bodily harm and is in custody at Clark County Detention Center. His bail is set at $20,000.

The child is still hospitalized and undergoing treatment, according to Metro Officer Jose Hernandez.

Leach has a preliminary court hearing scheduled for Feb. 20.

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