GREENFIELD, Ind. (WTHR) – Four family members are answering to charges of abuse and neglect of a tiny baby boy in Greenfield. The teenage parents and paternal grandparents of 10-week-old baby Isaiah made their initial court appearances at the Hancock County Courthouse. All four face multiple felony charges of the infant who weighed just over three pounds at birth.
41-year-old grandfather Heath Kimberlin and 38-year-old grandmother Pearl Holland said nothing on their way to and from court. Both pled not guilty to three felony counts of neglect. Heath’s 16-year-old son, the father of the baby, and the 17-year-old mother also appeared in court.
Authorities believe Isaiah suffered injuries on two separate occasions in November consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome.
“Medical staff at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital concluded that the baby had unexplained life threatening injuries that were reflective of child abuse,” said Greenfield Police Deputy Chief Matt Holland.
The teen parents are also charged with multiple felonies. The prosecutor wants to try them as adults. The probable cause affidavit alleges the 16-year-old father is responsible for most of the physical injuries to his son when he was left alone with the child.
“Given the nature of the offense and given the statute, we believe the things that we need to meet under the statute are there,” said Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton.
The baby suffered a broken leg and broken ribs, as well as neck, spine and brain injuries in November. Doctors cannot tell police what permanent neurological damage the infant may have suffered.
“We don’t know what the prognosis of the child is going to be just because of the young age,” said Holland. “We will not know what the long-term effects on the child are going to be until several years down the road because of the early stage of development of the child.”
The four family members are also charged with neglect by failing to seek timely medical attention when the child was ill, dehydrated and would not eat.
“When you’re dealing with a case like this, it takes a toll on you emotionally,” said Holland. “I’m just glad to see that all these moving parts have insured the safety of this child and made sure that somebody stood up for the safety of this child and gave him the best possible outcome given the circumstances that we could.”
“Matt and I are both parents,” said Eaton, standing at a podium with the deputy chief. “There are some cases that are easier than others. There are some cases that will keep you up a little bit more at night than others will. That being said, we always want to be professionals and do the very best job that we can.”
Baby Isaiah left the hospital last week and is living with another family member. The hearing to waive the teen parents to adult court and the trial for the grandparents are scheduled in January.