Man Faces Murder Charges in Girlfriend's Baby Death

BELOIT, Kan. (AP) _ A northern Kansas man has been bound over for trial in the death of his girlfriend's 11-month-old daughter.

Ben Gericke of Beloit is facing first-degree murder and child abuse charges in the death of Stevie Dawn Mull last July. A forensic pathologist testified at a preliminary hearing Monday that the baby died from neck trauma.

Nurse Josh Lorenz tearfully described how Gericke screamed that the child he was carrying into Mitchell County Hospital wasn't breathing. He said Gericke claimed he had turned away for "just a second'' while the baby was in the bathtub.

Another nurse testified that the child's skin was pale and her body temperature was 87 degrees.

Gericke's arraignment is set for March 2. He remains in the Mitchell County Jail on $750,000 bond.
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(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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