The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

June 19, 2014

Man charged in connection with infant's death

BLUEFIELD — Bond was set at $100,000 Wednesday for a Bluefield man charged in connection with the death of his infant child. The man was captured by police only hours earlier as he tried to jump out of a window in an attempt to evade arrest at his mother’s residence.

Cassidy Byrd, 23, of Bluefield, is being held on a suicide watch at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver, according to Detective K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department. Byrd is charged with the death of a child by a parent, custodian or guardian by abuse.

Byrd was arraigned via video conferencing from the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver by Mercer County Magistrate Jim Dent. He didn’t speak during the arraignment. If convicted on the charge, he faces a sentence of 10 to 40 years in prison.

Byrd had been at large for more than a week. Police descended upon his mother’s residence in Bluefield late Tuesday night at which point Byrd was located inside of the house. But he attempted to flee when police entered the home and tried to jump out of a bedroom window.

Adams said he was able to grab the man and keep him from escaping out of the bedroom window. At that point, Byrd didn’t resist arrest and was taken into custody.

Adams said the state medical examiner has ruled that the child died as a result of being struck to the head. The infant also had a busted lip and bruising to his body.

Police were contacted by officials at Bluefield Regional Medical Center on April 5 where the infant was dead on arrival. At that point, the investigation was launched into the child’s death.

Byrd was placed on a suicide watch Wednesday at the Southern Regional Jail.

“He is being held separately and watched constantly by video,” Adams said of Byrd. “And also periodically someone will check on him.”

Byrd will appear before a Mercer County judge for a preliminary hearing in 10 days.

Adams said the investigation into the child’s death continues.

The infant child was living with Byrd and his girlfriend, Adams said.

Adams said the mother of Byrd’s infant child is currently serving two years of unsupervised probation for an unrelated incident involving another infant child in McDowell County in 2011 that sustained extensive injuries.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

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