James Melvin Cosey III pleaded "no contest" to a reduced charge of attempted aggravated child abuse on Tuesday and was given an eight-year suspended sentence.
It will be served on supervised probation.
Cosey had been charged in a case in which a child has lingering injuries from apparently being shaken. The child continues to have cognitive and motor skill problems that will likely continue, authorities said.
Ashley Nicole Strong, mother of the child, is awaiting trial. She is due to appear before Criminal Court Judge Don Poole on Jan. 10.
Cosey had been charged with aggravated child abuse.
Prosecutor Charlie Minor said Cosey had been helping out with the child over a brief period and he was one of the last people with the child before he was rushed to a hospital.
He said both Cosey and Ms. Strong were given lie detector tests. He said hers was inconclusive and his showed deception.
The prosecutor said Cosey afterward gave a statement in which his account was far different than what he had first told police.
Erinn O'Leary of the public defender's office disagreed that the statements were different. She said he just gave details in the more formal interview.
She said the child had some injuries before Cosey came upon the scene.
The attorney said Cosey denies that he caused injuries to the child.
The child is now under the care of his father.