Amherst man ordered to stand trial in baby abuse care

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) - A 25-year-old Amherst man accused of shaking or hitting a baby so hard that it caused bleeding in the brain, creating seizure-like symptoms, was ordered to stand trial Monday, according to online Portage County court records.

Matthew Huettl is charged with two felonies - first-degree reckless injury and physical abuse of a child - as a repeat criminal in incidents in September involving a four-month-old baby boy, the criminal complaint said.

The baby was taken to a hospital three times for suspected seizures before more testing revealed bleeding on the brain, indicating a likelihood of abuse, the complaint said.

A judge ruled Monday that prosecutors presented enough evidence during a preliminary hearing to justify the charges. No date was immediately set for Huettl to enter pleas to them.

One doctor told investigators the baby had either been shaken or suffered a severe blow to the head, the complaint said.

Huettl is the live-in boyfriend of the baby's mother and was alone with the child while the mother was in another room when the suspected incidents of abuse occurred, the complaint said.

In one incident, Huettl reported to the mother that the baby was bleeding near an ear after apparently scratching himself, the complaint said.

In the two other incidents, the mother said she was summoned to the baby and found him "screaming" and "crying hysterically" and doing things like vomiting or showing signs of a seizure, the complaint said.

Dr. Kristen Iniguez of the Child Advocacy Center in Marshfield told investigators the baby suffered "life-threatening" brain injuries that could cause developmental issues, the complaint said.

Huettl was convicted of domestic battery and criminal damage to property in an unrelated 2012 case, the complaint said.