A 19-year-old Auburn man faces a Class A felony charge of battery in connection with the March death of his infant son.
Gabriel Wayne Taylor was arrested Tuesday on the charge, according to court documents. He remains in the DeKalb County Jail, and no bond has yet been set.
Records in DeKalb Circuit Court show the case will be handled by both a special judge – Steuben Circuit Court Judge Allen N. Wheat – and a special prosecutor, retired Steuben County Prosecutor Thomas E. Wilson.
Three-month old Lucas W. Taylor died March 2 from what an autopsy revealed was an abusive head injury. In interviews with investigators, the boy’s father denied injuring the baby.
Taylor told Indiana State Police Detective Mark Heffelfinger that when he arrived home from work March 1, he found the baby and the baby’s mother asleep. Taylor said Lucas woke up about 1:45 a.m., so Taylor fed him, and while he was feeding the baby, Lucas suddenly, “went limp and (his) eyes closed,” according to court documents.
He and the baby’s mother took the baby to the hospital, and at 10 a.m. March 2, a doctor told him, “that the baby had been shaken or something happened to him,” according to court documents.
Taylor said the baby fell out of an infant swing when he was approximately 12 days old but was checked out by a doctor and found to be fine, according to court documents.
Throughout the day March 2, Lucas’ health continued to decline, and he died later that day. An autopsy revealed an injury “so severe it could not have been accidentally caused and had to have been caused by the intentional act of some individual,” according to court documents.
The doctor attributed the injury to some kind of blunt-force trauma that was inflicted near the time of the baby’s death and was not days or weeks old, according to court documents.