Teen Charged In Baby's Shaking Death Could Be Tried As Adult

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - A judge has ordered a hearing to determine whether a 15-year-old boy should be tried as an adult in the shaking death of a 4-month-old boy he was baby-sitting.

Hands cuffed and head hung, Dale Reed cast his eyes down, and his mother kept her arm around him as a police detective spoke in court Friday.

Detective Gregory Anderson told Judge John R. Hoffman in Stark County Family Court that Reed changed his story four times before admitting that he shook Jaden Lacher of Alliance until the infant struggled to breathe. Anderson said Reed told officers that the baby had been crying.

The baby's mother left him with Reed when she went to work Sept. 29. Police believe Reed and Jaden were cousins.

The baby died a couple days later after doctors removed him from life support.

Reed originally was charged with felonious assault and child endangerment in Jaden's death. But the charge was upgraded to murder Oct. 3.

Hoffman ruled Friday there was probable cause to believe Reed killed the baby. He ordered medical and psychological evaluations and set the hearing for Nov. 12.

Until then, Reed will be held at the Multi-County Juvenile Attention Center in Canton Township, where he has been since his arrest.

Doctors at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Akron determined Jaden died a result of shaken baby syndrome. The syndrome occurs when a baby is vigorously shaken, which can harm infants' fragile brains, causing eye injuries, brain damage or death.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)