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Indianapolis father sentenced to 35 years in 2019 death of 28-day-old son

Michael Gaunt was found guilty of aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis father will serve 35 years in prison for the death of his 28-day-old son on the city's west side in 2019.

Michael Gaunt was found guilty of aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent resulting in death, during a one-day trial in April.

On Dec. 20, 2019, IMPD responded to a report of a child not breathing in the 4900 block of Rockville Road, near South Lynhurst Drive. When officers arrived, they found a 28-day-old boy unresponsive.

The infant was taken to Riley Hospital for Children, where he died three days later. That day, the Marion County Coroner's Office ruled the case a homicide.

According to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, both Gaunt and the baby's mother were unable to provide any explanation for the infant's injuries he had sustained.

During the investigation, the child's mother claimed she left the home on the day the child sustained the injuries and when she returned, Gaunt allegedly didn't allow her to call for help. 

According to the prosecutors, Gaunt provided inconsistent statements to detectives throughout the investigation and couldn't provide an explanation to how his son could have gotten the injuries.

"As a parent, it is unimaginable that an individual could commit a crime on an innocent child. While nothing constitutes this tragic loss of life, this resolution holds Mr. Gaunt accountable for his actions," Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in a news release.

Doctors determined the victim sustained damage to his brain cells and tissue, and experienced clavicle and spiral fractures. The child’s brain injury was consistent with rapid acceleration and deceleration of the head, which doctors said could have been possible by being thrown or shaken.

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