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Indianapolis father convicted of injuring infant son

A gavel. (Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A jury convicted an Indianapolis father Tuesday of two battery counts after his 10-month-old son experienced what doctors called “nonaccidental trauma.”

Michael Chatman, 55, later pleaded guilty to a habitual offender sentencing enhancement, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said Friday in a news release.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was called Jan. 13, 2021, to Chatman’s home in the 3800 block of North Meridian Street, the release said. The infant, a boy who is identified only as “J.” in court documents, was taken to Riley Hospital for Children in critical condition. Doctors later determined the boy was in shock and suffering from a brain injury and had peeling burns on his face and an armpit. Physicians also found swelling caused by excess fluid in one of his legs, which required surgery to correct and left the child with a brace.

“After the injuries to his son were discovered, Chatman began to disclose inconsistencies with his story, including timeline discrepancies and how he described his son’s behavior prior to the incident. Additionally, Chatman acknowledged that when he initially realized something was wrong with his son, he failed to call 911 right away,” the prosecutor’s release said.

Chatman told investigators he and the child had a history with the Indiana Department of Child Services, according to court documents.

Prosecutor Ryan Mears credited IMPD, the Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, and Riley hospital with saving the child’s life.

A spokesman for IMPD said Friday afternoon that the department could not provide a jail-booking photo of Chatman. Court documents indicated Chatman will remain jailed until a sentencing hearing, which was for 10 a.m. April 6 in Marion Superior Court 29. He was convicted of aggravated battery, and battery with serious bodily injury involving a person younger than 14.

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