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UPDATED: Itasca County man charged in infant son's death

Emery Jenkins
A 38-year-old Itasca County man was arraigned on one count of second-degree murder Friday for allegedly killing his infant son.
Emery Jenkins, of Deer River, was taken into custody Thursday by Itasca County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
According to the sheriff’s office, at about 1 p.m. on Oct. 16 deputies responded to a 911 call about a 2½-month-old boy — Jenkins’ son, Joseph — not breathing. Emergency personnel arrived and performed CPR. The child was transported to a hospital in Deer River and then life-flightedto Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, where he died the next day.According to the criminal complaint, investigators were told the infant had been bitten by the neighbor’s dog about four days earlier and had fallen out of a swing about a week earlier. Medical staff at St. Mary’s told investigators that the infant had numerous serious injuries, including a skull fracture and fractured ribs, according to the complaint.

Under questioning, Jenkins said he dropped Joseph while in the shower on Oct. 9 and that the child landed on his head on the floor of the tub, according to the complaint.

The St. Louis County medical examiner said the infant had experienced blunt force trauma as well as cuts and injuries to his chest, abdomen, hand, fingers, feet and toes, according to the complaint.

Investigators interviewed the infant’s mother, who said Jenkins bit their son many times because the baby was crying, according to the complaint. Jenkins wouldn’t allow the baby to go to a scheduled medical appointment because Jenkins did not want anyone to see the injuries.
She also said they made up the story about the neighbor’s dog biting the baby, according to the complaint.Jenkins allegedly “committed multiple acts of child abuse on his infant son,” County Attorney John J. Muhar said in a statement.Jenkins has multiple convictions, including for domestic abuse and driving while intoxicated, according to court records.

A second-degree murder charge doesn’t require the prosecution to prove intent. It is punishable by 40 years in prison.

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