A Menomonie man accused of causing traumatic head injuries to his 6-week-old son, which resulted in death, pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
Jonathon S. Lucas, 28, 2421 Fourth Ave. N., is charged in Dunn County Court with a felony count of first-degree reckless homicide in connection with the death of Daemyn Lucas on Feb. 19; Daemyn was born Jan. 5.
Judge Rod Smeltzer, who previously determined there is probable cause Lucas was responsible for his son’s death, set a return court date for Sept. 20 for a pre-trial conference. No trial dates have been set.
Lucas posted a $30,000 cash bond on March 3 and is not in custody. As terms of his release, he cannot consume alcohol or have any contact with minor children.
According to the criminal complaint:
Menomonie police responded to Lucas’ residence at 11:40 p.m. Feb. 19 for a possible domestic situation because a reporting party could hear a male voice screaming and yelling from the apartment.
Lucas opened the door and screamed “you need to help me” as he ran toward the kitchen. Police could see a small infant lying motionless on the kitchen counter, next to the sink.
Lucas picked up the baby and asked officers to help the child.
Lucas then handed the baby to an officer and began crying uncontrollably. The officer noticed the baby was unresponsive and did not appear to be breathing. The officer started CPR until EMS personnel arrived and took over.
Lucas said he fed and burped the baby and put him down to sleep on his bouncy chair after the baby’s mother left for work around 9 p.m. About two hours later, Lucas said he heard the baby making gasping sounds.
Lucas said there was no response when he picked up the baby. He tried to wake the baby up but couldn’t. Lucas carried the baby to the kitchen, splashed water onto his face and began CPR until law enforcement arrived.
Lucas told police he and the child’s mother were the baby’s only caretakers.
Lucas said he had about five shots of whiskey that evening. A breath test at 12:30 a.m. Feb. 20 showed Lucas had a blood-alcohol level of 0.139.
Lucas told police he took full responsibility for what happened to the baby even though he couldn’t recall what happened.
Lucas felt the most likely scenario was that he was sleeping and the baby woke him up by crying and screaming. Lucas said he then likely got up to change the baby’s diaper and forcefully put him on the living room floor.
After changing the baby’s diaper, Lucas said he likely realized the baby was unresponsive and “freaked out.” The baby was pronounced dead at the Menomonie hospital.
On Feb. 20, an autopsy was conducted on the baby at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office in Minnesota. The autopsy determined the cause of death was due to traumatic head injuries because of physical assault. The manner of death was homicide.
According to the autopsy report, the baby had multiple skull fractures and bleeding around the brain. The doctor conducting the autopsy told law enforcement the injuries to the baby could not have been caused by an accident.
If convicted, Lucas could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.
Online court records show Lucas was convicted of battery and disorderly conduct-domestic abuse in 2011 in Barron County Court.