A Greenbrier man accused of battering a 4-month-old infant known to him pleaded guilty to first-degree battery Wednesday in Faulkner County Circuit Court.

Zachary Freeman, 28, was arrested Mar. 29, 2011 after the baby sustained “massive head injuries,” according to a report by investigators, including skull fractures, bleeding from both sides of the brain and retinal hemmorhaging. The baby was medflighted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Following the incident, investigators noted that Freeman was “highly intoxicated,” with poor balance and slurred speech.

He reportedly gave a statement to police, saying he was holding the child and dropped it between a changing table and a chair.

According to an interview with a representative of Counseling Associates in Aug. 2011, Freeman acknowledged his abuse of alcohol was a “significant factor.”

During the same interview, he declined to offer his version of events, but said the incident “should have never happened.”

Freeman was sentenced to 27 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

(Megan Reynolds is a staff writer and can be reached by phone at 501-505-1277 or by e-mail at megan.reynolds@thecabin.net. Visit us online at www.thecabin.net.)