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Nellis NCO blames PTSD in alleged abuse

Feb. 14, 2014 - 03:32PM   |  
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Las Vegas police have charged a Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., staff sergeant with abusing his 3-month-old son, the second such case of alleged violence against a military dependent on the base in a month.

In the most recent case, Staff Sgt. Andrew Leach is accused of shaking his infant son, Aiden, around Feb. 1, according to an arrest report.

Aiden was taken to a hospital, where he was unresponsive and in critical condition from massive brain swelling, cardiac arrest and respiratory failure, the report said.

Leach, a vehicle operator with the 99th Logistics Readiness Squadron, told police he dropped Aiden on a bath mat while his wife was at the grocery store, the report said.

Leach said he tried to give the boy CPR after he stopped breathing, mashing on his stomach, hitting his back and shaking him, the report said.

The staff sergeant ran to a neighbor’s house to call 911 after he couldn’t find his phone, according to the arrest report.

Leach also told police he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideations, depression, and alcohol and chemical dependency, the report said. He said he had been treated at in-patient and out-patient mental health hospitals, finishing his last treatment one week earlier.

Leach had been stationed at Nellis since January 2011. The Air Force had not provided information by press time on what, if any, deployments Leach has served.

Leach’s wife, Kelly Leach, said in a statement to authorities that Leach had always been “rough with the baby,” but denied witnessing any abuse toward Aiden, according to the police report. She said there had been multiple domestic violence incidents between her and Leach.

The detective who investigated the case also interviewed two of Leach’s supervisors, according to a declaration of arrest. “Both stated they believed it was not a matter of ‘if’ the defendant hurt Aiden, but a matter of ‘when,’ ” the document stated.

Leach’s preliminary hearing was set for Feb. 20.

In another recent case, Tech. Sgt. Rickey Massey, 32, was charged with murdering his wife at their base home last month. Massey was being held without bail at the Clark County ail pending a March 3 preliminary hearing.

And in April, police arrested Tech. Sgt. Jarom Boyes in the shooting death of Staff Sgt. Melissa Boyes during a domestic dispute at the couple’s off-base home. Boyes’ trial date is set for July 21.

Airman 1st Class Monet Villacorte, a Nellis spokeswoman, said the Air Force cannot comment on the cases.

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