Father faces charge after infant dies

GREENFIELD — The father of a 3-month-old boy who died at an Indianapolis hospital on Saturday is in jail facing a charge of neglect, records show.

Charles Jenkins, 21, of Greenfield, was jailed Tuesday afternoon on the preliminary charge and was being held without bond at press time Wednesday.

The prosecutor’s office and county courthouse were closed Wednesday in observance of Veterans Day, so no formal charging documents outlining the allegations against Jenkins had been filed.

Indiana law defines neglect as “knowingly or intentionally (placing) the dependent in a situation that endangers the dependent’s life or health.”

An obituary for Jenkins’ son indicates the boy died Saturday at Riley Hospital for Children.

Dispatch records show emergency crews were called to Jenkins’ home in the 600 block of Grant Street on Thursday after someone called 911 to report an unconscious person.

The baby was in the living room of the home when police arrived. An officer performed CPR on the child until medics arrived and took the child, who never regained consciousness, to the hospital, police said.

The infant was placed on life support at Riley Hospital for Children, police said.

Greenfield Police Department officials, who are investigating the incident, declined to release details about the baby’s death but said they anticipate charges being filed Thursday. Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton could not be reached for comment.

Neglect is a Level 6 felony carrying a sentence range of six months to 2½ years and up to $10,000 in fines. State statute allows prosecutors to pursue more serious penalties depending on the circumstances surrounding the neglect.

This marks the second case in less than six months in which Greenfield police have arrested a parent after the death of a child. In early June, Matthew and Jessica Wagoner were arrested after their 1-year-old daughter was found dead in their Greenfield home, less than a quarter-mile away from the Jenkins residence. That case is pending.

Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or nsteele@greenfieldreporter.com.