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Father facing murder charge after baby's death

Published May 6, 2011 9:55 pm

WVC • Suspect says he accidentally dropped boy.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A 19-year-old West Valley City man was charged with murder and child abuse Friday in connection with his infant son's death.

Jeremy W. Andus is accused of inflicting two "separate, serious head injuries," one that left the 4-month-old on life support for nearly two weeks before his death on Wednesday, according to charging documents filed Friday in 3rd District Court.

On April 21, a man heard screaming outside his workplace and found Andus holding the "white and totally limp" baby in the back seat of a car, the charges state. Paramedics took the child to Primary Children's Medical Center, where both his heart and breathing had stopped. Doctors revived the baby through artificial respiration, but he had suffered a "recent, massive trauma" caused by shaking, impact with a surface or a combination of the two, doctors determined. An accident could not have caused the injury, according to the charging documents.

Doctors also found an old injury to the child's head that had been inflicted weeks before his arrival at the hospital, according to the charges.

Andus was allegedly the boy's sole caretaker while his mother was at work during the day. He told police he had accidentally dropped the boy while he was strapped in a car seat.

When police tried to arrest Andus, he resisted and a marijuana pipe fell out of his pocket during the struggle, documents state.

Andus was charged Friday with murder, a first-degree felony, child abuse, a second-degree felony, possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor, and interference with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor. He is being held in the Salt Lake County jail on $100,000 bond. An initial court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.

Court records show Andus pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge from 2009.