KEY POINTS

  • 18-year-old Shavale Powell pleaded not guilty to the charges of homicide and child abuse
  • The child's mother, also 18, was named as a co-defendant but had not been charged
  • Another 1-year-old child belonging to the couple was found to have injuries

A teenage father from Racine, Wisconsin is facing trial in connection to the death of his 1-month-old infant in February.

Local police arrested 18-year-old Shavale Powell on Feb. 22 after an investigation linked him to the death of his 39-day-old son. The then 17-year-old was charged with first-degree reckless homicide and two counts of child abuse.

Powell in a preliminary hearing Wednesday pleaded not guilty to the charges before Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch, local newspaper the Journal Times reported. He reportedly waived his right to a preliminary hearing and the case has been assigned to Racine County Circuit Court Judge Timothy Boyle. 

Lawyer Chris A. Gramstrup represented Powell.

The case stemmed from a 911 call on Feb. 14 reporting an infant who was not breathing. Officers of the Racine Police Department found the infant pulseless and cold to the touch. 

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's office ruled the death a homicide after an examination determined the child died from head trauma. The medical examiner listed the infant's injuries as the following:

  • Blunt force injuries to the baby’s head: contusions of face, fracture of left parietal bone, subdural hemorrhage, optic nerve hemorrhages, bilateral.
  • Blunt force injuries to the baby’s chest: contusions of the chest and back, multiple rib fractures.
  • Blunt force injuries to the baby’s extremities: abrasions of right hand, contusions of the left lower extremity.

Police also arrested the child's mother, 18-year-old Javian Clark. Clark was listed as a co-defendant in Powell's case but had not been charged as of Wednesday.

Both parents reportedly said they had been the only caregivers the last week the infant was alive.

An older 1-year-old child, also belonging to Powell and Clark, was present during the incident. The child was observed to have had significant bruising and an injury to his left eye. The two reportedly told medical and law enforcement officials the child had struck his face when he fell in the shower at home while he was with Powell.

An examination of the child by the Racine County Childen's Advocacy Center led to the discovery of more injuries.

adult-4402808_1920 Representation. Medical examiners determined the infant died from head trauma. Photo: Pixabay