A Nevada man is accused of repeatedly beating an infant so badly over a three-day period that the 7-month-old boy died from his injuries, authorities said.
Nathan J. O’Dell, 24, of Elko, was charged with open murder, including first-degree murder committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of child abuse, the Elko Daily Free Press reported.
O’Dell is also accused of beating the baby’s 4-year-old brother so badly he needed hospital care, the newspaper reported.
Elko police Chief Ty Trouten said O’Dell was caring for the children — who are not his — while their mother went to work May 12. O’Dell called 911 at 7 a.m. to report the infant was not breathing, KUTV reported.
The baby died two days later at a Utah hospital, the Daily Free Press reported. A complaint signed Thursday by District Attorney Tyler Ingram said the state may seek the death penalty if O’Dell is convicted.
O’Dell originally told police he left the infant unattended so he could change his clothes, KUTV reported. When O’Dell returned, he said the baby was not breathing. O’Dell also said he dropped the child on his head in the shower while trying to revive him with cold water, the television station reported.
According to police, O’Dell admitted that over a three-day period he hit the infant in the head “out of frustration,” threw the child onto a bed and struck it “about a half-dozen times.” O’Dell also said he tossed the baby into a playpen and squeezed him “while trying to console” the child, police said.
O’Dell was also charged with felony child abuse or neglect against the 4-year-old. His bail was listed at $270,000, the Daily Free Press reported.
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