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Murder Suspects Arrive in Clarion

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 @ 11:02 AM

Posted by Jake Bauer

ohio-muder-suspectsSHIPPENVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – An Ohio couple charged in the death of a 9-month-old boy at a Washington Township camp have been extradited to Clarion County.

Charges were filed last week against 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.”

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

Chadwick and Hemminger are being held in the Clarion County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail each.

They both faced preliminary hearings today at 2:00 p.m.


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