Fort Carson Army Soldier Branden Harms Pleaded Guilty to Child Abuse Resulting in Death; Faced 40-48 Years in Prison at Sentencing (2016)

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Branden Harms, US Army

Fort Carson soldier Branden Harms, 28, admitted to raising his hand against 4-month-old Ava Bermudez inflicting injuries severe enough to kill her on April 18, 2016. Harms was entrusted to care for his girlfriend’s newborn daughter. Investigators say the injuries were inflicted while the child’s mother, also his live-in girlfriend, Jessica Bermudez, went out with a friend. Harms was arrested by the Fountain Police on April 19, 2016. Branden Harms pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death and also admitted to withholding medical care. He faced 40-48 years in prison at sentencing on May 16, 2017.

Taking a deep breath in court, Harms described how he “almost saw black” and then began to “excessively spank her. Sometime after that, I began to choke her,” he said. “Further after that, when I was putting her in her crib, I wasn’t gentle.” The former soldier suggested that he threw the girl into her crib with enough force to split its wooden bottom, sending the infant to the floor beneath. “After that,” he added, “I kind of snapped to, and it was too late.” –Colorado Gazette

Related Links:
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Violent Crime, Suicide and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)

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