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Medical Examiner’s Report Reveals ‘Non-Accidental’ Head Injuries in Death of 6-month-old Baby; Murder Charges Filed

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 @ 04:01 PM

Posted by Jake Bauer

clarion-county-daCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – In a joint press conference Wednesday afternoon with the Pennsylvania State Police, Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron told reporters that murder charges have been filed against an Ohio couple in connection with the death of a 9-month-old boy at a Clarion County camp in August 2013.

Charges have been filed against Kelly Ann Hemminger, 22, and Chad Arthur Chadwick, 22, both of Ashtabula, Ohio, in connection with the death of 9-month-old Zeke Hamilton at a camp along Marble-Strobleton Road in Washington Township on August 31, 2013.

According to sources, the infant’s parents, both of Geneva, Ohio, entrusted their three children, including Zeke Hamilton, to go on an overnight camp-out over Labor Day weekend.

According to the Criminal Complaint, between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on August 31, the victim, who was 6-months-old at the time, was observed by several individuals who were also staying at the property. The victim was observed with a bottle, cereal, and a popsicle. He was animate and apparently functioning normally, according to the individuals.

The complaint states that Kelly Hemminger then returned the victim to her tent where she and Chadwick were sleeping. While in the care of Chadwick between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., the complaint states the victim vomited, was breathing heavy, and started to seize. Chadwick and Kelly Hemminger, along with David Hemminger, took the victim to UPMC Northwest in Seneca in a personal vehicle.

Kelly Hemminger and Chad Chadwick. Photos courtesy Star Beacon.

Kelly Hemminger and Chad Chadwick.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., Trooper Paul Swatzler, of Franklin-based State Police, contacted Marienville-based State Police for a report of a 6-month-old male at UPMC Northwest with injuries from potentially being shaken.

The victim was then life-flighted to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh to receive more advanced medical attention. It was reported by medical personnel that the victim had a fractured skull and broken ribs. At that time, police reported the incident as an Aggravated Assault.

Zeke remained in critical condition and was moved to a hospice unit for 78 days where he remained in a coma before passing away on November 15.

According to the criminal complaint, injuries to the victim’s skull resulted in skull fractures, subdural hematoma, and cerebral edema which resulted in the victim’s death.

The Medical Examiner’s Report states that the victim sustained “non-accidental blunt force trauma to the head.”

Aaron declined to comment when asked if there was a known motive.

Photo of the camp along Marble-Strobleton Road in Washington Township. Courtesy Facebook.

Photo of the camp along Marble-Strobleton Road in Washington Township. Courtesy Facebook.

Chad Arthur Chadwick has been charged with the following offenses:

– Criminal Homicide, Felony 1
– Criminal Conspiracy, Felony 1
– Aggravated Assault, Felony 1
– Endangering Welfare of Children, Felony 3
– Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 1
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2

Kelly Ann Hemminger has been charged with the following offenses:

– Criminal Conspiracy/Criminal Homicide, Felony 1
– Criminal Conspiracy/Aggravated Assault, Felony 1
– Endangering Welfare of Children, Felony 3
– Criminal Conspiracy/Simple Assault, Misdemeanor 1
– Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Misdemeanor 2

The victim’s parents are not facing charges in the incident, but authorities indicated that Ohio Youth Services are involved.

Hemminger and Chadwick are being housed in the Ashtabula County Jail in lieu of $1,000,000 cash bail. They are expected to be extradited to Pennsylvania some time next week.

Stay with exploreClarion.com for continuous coverage of this breaking news story.


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