UPDATE: Doctors, police disagree with man's account of infant de - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Doctors, police disagree with man's account of infant death


The account that Henry Hughes, 20, of Tomahawk, told when his newborn son was rushed to the hospital on September 4th doesn't match up with what doctors, police, and the district attorney's office believe really happened.

The criminal complaint said on September 4th, Hughes was home alone with his 9 day-old newborn son and his year-and-a-half old stepson.

Hughes said he was cooking dinner when he heard his baby cry, and then, start to gurgle and choke. 

He said he tried to save the baby.

"He attempted CPR on the child, he called the mother at work, asked the mother to come home, she came home, and they transported the child in their vehicle to the hospital," Tomahawk chief of police Al Elvins said. 

However, doctors found injuries on the infant that could only happen if the baby was shaken. 

"The treating physician at Marshfield has ruled it abusive head trauma indicative of severe high velocity injury," Elvins said.

The Lincoln County assistant district attorney agreed.

"It had to be a rapid back-and-forth motion on the head, and chest compressions would not have done it," Kurt Zengler explained.

The baby boy died of his injury two weeks later, at just 23 days-old. 

"That is what we'll be hanging our hats on at trial, the medical testimony indicating that it had to be the defendant that did this," Zengler said.

"When you shake a baby, the head just comes back and forth, what it does is that brain just bounces back and forth and usually you'll see some...hemorrhaging of the eyes, see all kinds of other manifestations, that are indicative of this," Elvins said.

The medical evaluation also discovered that the baby suffered from a broken ankle, which Hughes denies causing.

"Every one of my officers, and myself, are parents. and to see a young child go through this kind of abuse or trauma is heartbreaking," Elvins said. 

A social worker found that the one-and-a-half year-old stepson that Hughes lived with had fractures on his arm, rib, and foot.

Hughes does not have a lawyer yet. His bond was set at $50,000. 

His continued initial appearance is scheduled for Friday in the Lincoln County Courthouse.

Hughes can face a maximum of 75 years in prison.


A 23-day-old baby died and his 20-year-old father was arrested in his death, Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins said Wednesday.

The baby was taken to a hospital Sept. 4 by his mother and father because he was coughing and suddenly stopped breathing, Elvins said. The baby died at a Marshfield hospital Sept. 18 from what doctors called "abusive head trauma," Elvins said.

Doctors believe the baby was shaken while under the care of his father, Henry Hughes, while the baby's mother was at work, Elvins said.

The father was arrested Tuesday and he was charged Wednesday with two felonies - first degree reckless homicide and child abuse recklessly causing harm, according to online Lincoln County court records. He was jailed on a $50,000 cash bond and ordered to return to court Friday.

"He has not said anything to us," Elvins said.

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