Willoughby man charged with murder for newborn son’s death

The baby died one week after being taken to the hospital for “suspected shaken baby syndrome,” police say.
Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 3:54 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Willoughby man is facing murder charges for the May 2020 death of his infant son.

A Lake County grand jury indicted William L. Beasley, 30, on two counts of murder, three counts of involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, two counts of endangering children, and felonious assault.

On May 22, 2020, the Willoughby Fire Department responded to an apartment on Lost Nation Road where a three-week-old boy was having trouble breathing.

It was actually Beasley who made the 911 call looking for help for his son.

Beasley said his son was breathing “funny” and it sounded like he had something “stuck in there.”

The baby was transported to Hillcrest Hospital, where investigators say the staff noticed signs of possible child abuse and contacted Lake County Jobs and Family Services.

The Willoughby Police Department launched an investigation into the infant’s injuries, were described in a police report as “suspected shaken baby syndrome.”

One week later, on May 29, 2020, Zachary Beasley passed away at Cleveland Clinic.

According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, the infant died from “complications of blunt force injury to head, trunk, and extremities with skeletal and brain injuries.” His death was ruled a homicide.

After a lengthy investigation, the case was presented to the grand jury. An arrest warrant was issued for Beasley following the criminal indictment.

Lt. Matthew Tartaglia of the Willoughby Police Department said the investigation was in depth and thanked the doctors and nurses and the staff at Lake County Family Services for their help.

“It’s gratifying in the sense that at least you’re an advocate or a voice for this person that didn’t have a chance to defend himself, didn’t have a chance to speak, didn’t have a chance to let us know what was happening to him for those 3 weeks,” Tartaglia said.

On Tuesday, he was taken into custody without incident by members of the Willoughby Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force.

Beasley is currently in the the Lake County Jail. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

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