Dubuque Man Accused of Killing Toddler Makes Initial Court Appearance

By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter

DUBUQUE, Iowa — Bond has been set at $1.1 million for a Dubuque man who's accused of killing a 2-year-old who'd been left in his care.

Bail was set at $750,000 during a video court appearance Tuesday for Nicholas Reed. Reed, 34, is accused of killing 2-year-old Bentley Randall. The bail is in addition to $350,000 bail set after Reed was arrested on neglect and drug charges.

Bentley Randall's mother had taken him to a Dubuque hospital on November 23 for treatment of submersion burns and head trauma.

Police say Bentley's mother had left him with Reed, her boyfriend, when she went to work. Reed's 11-year-old daughter was also in the home. She told investigators Reed and the boy were locked in the bathroom, and she could hear what sounded like Bentley's head hitting the tub. The 11-year-old also told police she saw Reed using drugs.

Bentley's mother took the boy to the hospital when she returned home. The boy died at a hospital in Iowa City on November 25.

Doctors told police they attempted an operation to relieve swelling on Bentley's brain. But said his injuries were so massive when he arrived at the hospital, there was no treatment that could save him.

New court documents reveal that Randall's burns came from being submerged under hot water. A University of Iowa surgeon suggested a two-year-old would have had to been held down or unconscious to receive that kind of burn. Previous police reports indicated Reed told officers he was using a hand held shower head to spray the toddler when Reed noticed the water was "super hot".

According to investigators, a hair sample from Bentley's body tested positive for meth and marijuana. According to police, they found both marijuana plants and a meth lab when they searched Reed's home.

Reed hired Des Moines defense attorney Brandon Brown to represent him.
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