Man arrested for murder in death of infant

Published: May. 16, 2019 at 2:45 PM CDT
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Almost one year after an infant suffered brain injuries and died, a man now faces charges.

On Thursday, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office arrested Dean Hettinger, 22, of Westgate, on a charge of first-degree murder and a charge of child endangerment causing death.

The sheriff's office said the Iowa Department of Human Services contacted them the morning of April 30, 2018, for a four-week-old boy who had brain injuries. They told authorities the baby, Holten Smith, arrived at the hospital in Sumner the night before. Smith's guardians, who lived at 23837 90th Street outside of Westgate, said he was seizing.

Doctors sent Smith to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he died of his injuries on May 27, 2018.

The Sheriff's Office, along with Iowa's Division of Criminal Investigation, determined Hettinger was one of Smith's caretakers at the time of his death. Hettinger was already in the Black Hawk County Jail on unrelated charges.

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