Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson announced a Camden man has been charged in the death of his infant son.
Jonathan Garrett Sr., M/30, was arraigned Tuesday in Superior Court in Camden on one count of Aggravated Manslaughter for the killing of nine-week-old Jonathan Garrett Jr.
Camden County Police were called to Garrett’s apartment on the 1300 block of Princess Avenue in Camden around 5:35 p.m. February 1 for a report of an infant not breathing. Garrett was home alone with his son and had been the boy’s sole caretaker since about 9:00 p.m. January 31, while the infant’s mother was working an overnight shift.
The infant was transported to Cooper University Hospital and was initially diagnosed with a subdural hematoma, possible brain death, a collapsed left lung as well as having an unstable blood pressure and heart rate. He later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 5:36 a.m. February 2.
Later that day, Gloucester-Camden-Salem Regional Medical Examiner Gerald Feigin performed a post mortem examination on the child and initially determined cause and manner of death would be “pending” until additional studies were obtained.
Further examination by a neuropathologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a doctor at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia revealed hemorrhages on the infant’s brain, spine and eyes as well as retinal detachment.
On February 14, Dr. Feigin determined the cause of the infant’s death was blunt head trauma and ruled the manner of his death was homicide.
Homicide detectives and prosecutors consulted October 21 with the neuropathologist who examined the child’s brain and spine, and were advised the child’s injuries indicated he had been shaken.
Garrett was interviewed several times by investigators and acknowledged he was the sole caretaker for his son from 9:00 pm January 31 until he called 911 for assistance at 5:35 p.m. February 1. He was unable to provide an explanation for the infant’s injuries.
Garrett’s bail was set at $200,000.
All persons charged with criminal offenses are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.