Baby charges dismissed
The county District Attorney’s Office dropped all charges against a man accused of severely injuring his 4-month-old son on Valentine’s Day.
Richard Lund, 21, had faced charges of attempted murder and willful infliction of injuries to a child. Authorities earlier said that he was responsible for causing the infant, Xavier Lund, to have brain damage, after his former girlfriend left the two at their home on the afternoon of Feb. 14.
When she came home that evening, the child was lethargic, unresponsive and having seizures, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputy Public Defender Gary Gordon said Thursday that Lund was responsible for the child’s condition, but that it was an accident.
“(Lund) is extraordinarily saddened by the events that happened to this child,” Gordon said.
The baby nearly suffocated, Gordon said, after Lund left him propped up in a crib and Xavier later rolled over onto his stomach, with his face in some blankets. After Lund set the infant down, he left the room, Gordon said.
“He figured the baby was sleeping (because the infant didn’t cry),” Gordon said. “This was an accident and not criminal in nature.”
After the boy’s mother returned home, Lund reportedly did not tell her or authorities what had happened. Gordon said this was because Lund was in shock and not thinking clearly. Lund later gave a two-hour interview to investigators, Gordon said.
Xavier was taken to the U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where tests showed his medical condition did not occur naturally, investigators said. Other tests revealed the baby had suffered brain damage and is deaf.
Deputy District Attorney Chuck O’Rourke said that so far, Lund’s story is backed by the injuries sustained by the boy.
“Our medical evidence doesn’t support the (criminal) charges,” O’Rourke said. “There were no traumatic marks that would indicate visible physical contact – like bruises or contusions.”
He said the investigation is ongoing and he anticipates charges to be refiled in the future.
On Thursday, Lund was still being held at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility on charges of probation violation from previous cases.
Xavier’s custody is expected to be decided in court.
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