WEB EXTRA: Dad of baby fighting for its life admits to throwing, - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

WEB EXTRA: Dad of baby fighting for its life admits to throwing, shaking and biting him

Eugene Melton was arrested and charged with child abuse Eugene Melton was arrested and charged with child abuse
Editor's note: Melton appeared in court Jan. 12 for a preliminary hearing. Probable cause was found in the case. Melton is now scheduled for arraignment on Friday, Jan. 16.

Hannibal, Mo. (WGEM) - The father of a three-month-old baby, who is fighting for its life in a St. Louis hospital, told police he dropped the infant in the shower and caught the child by its leg but according to court documents, there's much more to the story.

Eugene Melton, 23, and the baby's mother, Keviantae Guyton, took their baby to Hannibal Regional Hospital with serious life-threatening injuries Tuesday night. The baby had a broken leg, bite marks and a brain bleed. The infant was flown to Cardinal Glennon Hospital, in St. Louis because of the severity of its condition.

After police arrested Melton for a child abuse charge, he admitted throwing the child across the room about 15 feet. 

"The responding officers were advised that Melton was caring for the child when he reported that he was taking a shower with [the baby] when he dropped him," Detective Jacob Nacke wrote in a probable cause statement obtained by WGEM News Thursday morning. "Melton reported that he caught the child by the leg."

Melton told officers that is how the baby's leg was broken, but Nacke wrote Melton's account didn't explain the head injury or bite marks on the baby's legs.

Officers spoke with the baby's mother and other witnesses, and Nacke states their accusations against Melton led him to believe Melton abused the baby.

"Keviantae Guyton was interviewed and disclosed that Melton had been violent toward [the baby] in the past and had bit the child in early October," Nacke wrote. "Guyton reported that as Melton bit the child, he stated, 'I'll give you something to cry about.'"

Melton told police he threw the baby from his kitchen to the bed in his bedroom. He told officers he smoked a cigarette before picking the baby up under its arms and lifting it above his head, when he shook the baby for five to 10 seconds.

"Melton then said he threw the child back onto the bed from the same location as before," Nacke wrote.

Melton also told police he bit the child in different spots on its leg to see if he could feel pain, and the baby eventually reacted to the bites.

"Melton admitted he was too stressed out and would black out at times," Nacke wrote. "Melton said that he has told Guyton that he should not watch the child and has been seeking help."

Police recorded their interview with Melton.

When police spoke with other witnesses, they told officers they had seen Melton carrying the baby by the back of its shirt like a dog would carry a puppy, and that Melton oftentimes screamed at the baby and yelled in his face.

Northeast Community Action Corporation Spokesperson Brent Engel says the building where the alleged abuse occurred is a NECAC-owned property, but Melton was not a tenant and was actually banned from the property.

"NECAC filed a no trespassing order on Nov. 3 with the Hannibal Police Department," Engel said, "because he was a suspect in a stolen vehicle case."

Engel said any kind of possible abuse in the home was not reported to NECAC. 

If Melton is convicted of the child abuse charge, he faces between five and 15 years in prison.

If you suspect a child is being abused, authorities urge you to report it.  In Illinois call 1-800-25-ABUSE.  In Iowa call 1-800-362-2178.  In Missouri call 1-800-392-3738.

Powered by Frankly