Father charged with baby's murder
Bruising of both upper eyelids and below both eyes, a facial contusion and rib fractures?
“Moments. Seconds,” Dr. Lynn K. Sheets testified Tuesday at the preliminary hearing for Jason H. Andritsch, 25, of 2178 Clark St., No. 7, East Troy.
Andritsch is charged with first-degree reckless homicide and child abuse and faces 80 years in prison if convicted.
Sheets, a pediatrician and medical director of the child abuse program at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, said Andritsch’s 3-week-old daughter Naomi Mielke likely suffered injuries Oct. 7 and died from abusive head trauma on Oct. 13, exactly one month after being born. The injuries were consistent with someone shaking, squeezing or striking the infant, Sheets said.
The baby’s mother, Tiffany Mielke, said she had gone outside to dump the baby’s bathwater. When she returned, Andritsch was running with the child to the bathroom because, he said, she was starting to defecate, Mielke testified.
She went to get wipes and a diaper and heard Andritsch say “Naomi, wake up,” when she was heading back to the bathroom, according to her testimony.
Naomi was crying when Tiffany went outside with the water, but she wasn’t crying when she got back inside, Tiffany testified.
Tiffany had been away from Naomi for only those moments, she said. The only other time she let her child out of her sight was Sept. 22, when she was at work for about 45 minutes. Naomi was with Andritsch at that time.
Naomi also had healing rib injuries from sometime between her birthday and Oct. 1, Sheets testified. She could not pinpoint a date for any of the injuries.
Judge Robert Kennedy found enough evidence to bind Andritsch over for trial. Andritsch will have an arraignment on Dec. 20.
Andritsch’s attorney and his father declined to comment after the hearing, as did Mielke and her family.
Andritsch cried quietly at times throughout the hearing. Mielke was composed and didn’t show much emotion during her testimony. She glanced at Andritsch once when she was asked to identify him.
The day they rushed Naomi to the hospital, the couple went to church in the morning and had lunch with family members in the afternoon, according to the criminal complaint. They went to a friend’s house in Burlington and stopped at an East Troy restaurant before returning home.
Naomi seemed fine during the day except she spit-up once about 90 minutes after her last bottle, which was out of the ordinary, Tiffany said. She called a nurse who said that might be normal since they changed her formula that day.
It was Andritsch who suggested giving Naomi a bath, thinking it would make her feel better if she was sick from the formula, Tiffany said. He also had helped give Naomi the bath.
Andritsch denied intentionally hurting Naomi but told police he might have been playing “too rough” with her. He also said he might have struck the infant’s head on something when he was taking her into the bathroom, according to the complaint.