Family of deceased 4-year-old ‘relieved’ after father’s guilty verdict
CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - Christopher Bruck, 28, was found guilty not once, but twice in a Clark County Circuit courtroom on Monday.
"Twice. We didn't think we would hear it twice," Amanda Dukes, Hayden Dukes' mother, said.
"There's nothing more gratifying than getting justice for a dead child," Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Jeremy Mull said.
Bruck was convicted of aggravated battery causing death and neglect of a dependent resulting in death. He's facing between 40 and 80 years behind bars.
"We got the justice we wanted for Hayden," Amanda Dukes said.
Bruck and Amanda Dukes 4-year-old son Hayden Dukes died in January 2015 at Kosair Children's Hospital. It happened five days after Bruck called 911 about his son suffering a seizure. The 28-year-old was arrested after he told police he hit Hayden in the head with the palm of his hand while he was trying to watch a basketball game on TV. Hayden hit his head on the carpeted concrete basement floor.
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He died from brain trauma.
"It has been the hardest two weeks for us to sit here and hear and see the things we've heard and not be able to say anything," Rebecca Crawford, Hayden's aunt said. "We did it because Hayden deserves that much from us."
The defense claimed the entire incident between Bruck and the child was an accident.
"Here's my opinion of what they did up there, it was a lot of smoke and screens," Janice McClintock, Hayden's great-aunt, said.
Bruck and his defense team are standing behind their argument.
"We expected it would be an uphill battle, but of course we're disappointed and an appeal will be planned when sentencing is held," Mitchele Harlan, Bruck's defense attorney said.
Bruck's sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m. at the Clark County Circuit Court.
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