Dubuque Man Facing Murder Charge In Connection with Child's Death

DUBUQUE, Iowa - A Dubuque man now faces a first-degree murder charge after a toddler died of injuries sustained while in his care.

On Monday, officials announced Nicholas Reed, 34, has been charged with first-degree murder. Reed had been charged with neglect or abandonment of a dependent person, manufacturing methamphetamine and manufacturing marijuana.

On November 23, police responded to Finley Hospital for a report of an unresponsive child with severe burns. Bentley Randall, 2, was air lifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Bentley died from his injuries on Sunday.

According to police, Bentley's mother, left her son in the care of her boyfriend, Nicholas Reed. When she returned and learned of Bentley's condition, she transported him to the hospital where it was determined he had obvious submersion burns and was suffering from head trauma.

As part of the ongoing investigation, medical personnel at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics recently determined Bentley died from blunt force trauma to the head. The doctors advised Bentley's injuries were consistent with being shaken and slammed. Hair stat tests were also conducted on Bentley and came back positive for methamphetamine and marijuana.

During the investigation, it was determined that Bentley was acting normal and not exhibiting signs or symptoms of head trauma the morning of November 23rd, 2012. Bentley was later dropped off at Reed's residence and left in his care while Bentley's mother went to work. While in Reed's care, Bentley began to show symptoms of head trauma. Doctors confirmed a person with a fatal head injury like Bentley's would have displayed some type of symptom immediately after the head trauma occurred.

Reed will make his initial court appearance on the charges Tuesday morning.
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