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Teen charged with severely beating Marilla toddler

A teenage babysitter has been charged with first-degree assault in the near-fatal beating of a 2-year-old boy he was caring for. Charges against Devon Vanderwege, 17, could be upgraded to manslaughter or homicide if the toddler dies. The child, Ethan Bigham is brain dead and is on life support. Arrangements are being made for organ donations.

Bigham was beaten severely, both by punching and with a blunt object, at the Marilla trailer park where he lived. A 9-month-old half-sibling was also under the care of Vanderwege at the time of the incident last Friday.

Vanderwege is scheduled to appear in Marilla Town Court on Thursday. He is being held at the Erie County Holding Center without bail.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.