Man charged physical abuse of infant

The infant was just 49-days-old when he was brought to the hospital by his mother.
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 2:10 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2022 at 2:16 PM EDT
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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - A Southern Indiana man has been arrested on multiple charges involving the abuse of a child.

Jonathan Fleming, 28, of Jeffersonville, was arrested July 27 by Jeffersonville police. He was booked into the Clark County Jail on two counts of serious bodily injury to someone under 14 and three counts of neglect.

The injuries involved an infant in Fleming’s care with evidence of bone fractures, according to police.

The probable cause affidavit filed in the case says Jeffersonville police were called to Clark Memorial Hospital on the morning of July 22 after a 49-day old boy was brought to the emergency department by his mother with a fracture to his right femur.

The mother, Shelby Hayes, 20, told police the child had been on the couch in the couple’s apartment with Fleming, who was giving the baby a bottle. Hayes said Fleming was trying to the the couple’s cats off the couch when the infant began to roll over and fall off. Hayes said she grabbed the infant by his right leg and heard a pop and a grinding sound coming from the leg.

Dr. Eric Yazel took an x-ray of the leg which showed the fracture. Yazel told police the injury seen in the x-ray were not consistent with the explanation Hayes gave.

later during questioning, Hayes admitted that Fleming was the only one in the room with the child when was hurt and she made up the story because she was afraid of losing custody of her son. Hayes a previously told police that another child had been removed from her care by authorities in Kentucky.

After obtaining a search warrant for the couple’s apartment, police spoke with Fleming. The affidavit says he repeated several times the story Hayes had given about the injury occurring while the child falling from the couch and was caught by the leg.

After the infant was placed in the care of Child Protective Services, he was transferred to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville. A CT scan showed the child had multiple rib fractures and other leg fractures that were in the process of healing.

Police also seized the cell phones of Fleming and Hayes. An examination of the phones showed Fleming had conducted multiple internet searches about injuries to babies legs, shaken baby syndrome and other topics.

On the day of his arrest, Fleming admitted to harming the baby multiple times and described several of them to police. Regarding the July 22 injuries the child sustained, Fleming told police he was frustrated from lack of sleep and snatched the baby up by his leg.

Fleming made his first court appearance following his arrest yesterday. His bond was set at $100,000.

No charges have been filed against Hayes.

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