Reporting Michael Rosenfield
LYNN (CBS) — A Lynn man is being held on $100,000 cash bail, accused of fatally injuring a 3-month-old.
The Essex County District Attorney says Anthony Gideika, 32, of Western Avenue, Lynn, is charged with assault and battery upon a child causing serious bodily injury.
The Essex County DA says additional charges are possible following an autopsy.
Three-month-old Chase Gideika died Wednesday morning after doctors say he suffered a fatal head injury.
Graphic details emerged in court and from court documents obtained by WBZ-TV about what exactly happened inside Gideika’s apartment in Lynn which he shares with the child’s mother.
Allegations include severe child abuse such as broken bones and a major head injury. Prosecutors say doctors said they had never seen some of the injuries.
“In one eye he had a displaced lens which was such a dramatic finding that long-time child abuse doctors had never actually seen it before,” said MacDougall.
Lynn Police went to the home a little before 2 a.m. Monday morning for a report of a baby in distress.
The baby was brought to North Shore Children’s and then Mass. General Hospital with skull fractures, leg fractures, retinal hemorrhages, bruising and swelling to the scrotum and testicles.
“They discovered he had bruising on his forehead as well as distinct bruising on his testicles,” said Essex County Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall. “He was not responsive at all.”
According to the prosecution, Gideika told police he had recently learned the child, a 3-month-old named Chase and his twin Anthony Jr., were not his biological children and he was having a tough time with the news.
Prosecutors say the mother of the twins, Jennifer Nelson, was at a tattoo party when Chase was harmed.
She declined to talk about the case after court today except to say “rest in peace” as she left the courtroom.
Investigators say Gideika admitted to tripping and dropping Chase over the weekend, and recently dropping the boy “like four times” but that it was accidental and “he messed up.”
They say he has a history of substance abuse and mental health issues.
Prosecutors say when the twins were born they tested positive for methadone and benzodiazepine and showed signs of withdrawal but despite a state investigation they were allowed to go home with the parents. A 3-year-old child was also removed from the home due to neglect, prosecutors said.
Gideika’s lawyer said his client, a veteran who served in Iraq, suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the infant’s death was accidental.
“He is 100% disabled,” according to Gideika’s attorney Rebecca Whitehill, referencing the PTSD. “Mr. Gideika is very upset about his son dying.”
CPT Tim Irvin, a public affairs officer for the Army, says Gideika served from 2003 to 2006 and was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood and in Germany. He was deployed to Iraq for one year.
Gideika’s father hung up the phone when contacted after the arraignment.
The Massachusetts Department of Children & Families released the following statement Wednesday night:
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has received a 51A report on this tragic incident and has launched a thorough review of this case. Upon receipt of the 51A report, DCF immediately took custody of the boy’s twin brother and he is currently in foster care.
The Department first became involved with this family in June 2012 after receiving a report of neglect on behalf of Ms. Nelson’s three year-old son. The Department took custody of the three year-old boy and placed him in foster care, where he has remained. Since DCF became involved with the family last year, both Ms. Nelson and Mr. Gideika have been engaged in treatment programs, while also receiving supportive parenting services from community providers to address their individual needs and issues. The family was also receiving support from extended family members to assist them in caring for their twin boys.
A DCF Social Worker last visited the home for a regularly scheduled monthly visit on June 7 and met with the family. During the visit, the Social Worker observed that both children were healthy and being cared for.
WBZ-TV’s Michael Rosenfield contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelWBZ4