RILEY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- Days before an Ogden family is set to lay a six-month-old baby to rest, the man who stands accused of the infant’s death was back in court.
WIBW’s cameras were not allowed inside a status hearing for 19-year-old Michael Dechant Tuesday in Riley County District Court.
The teen is charged with murder and child abuse in the death of his girlfriend’s six-month-old son Dominick who was left in Dechant’s care.
The hearing was continued until April 9th in order for Dechant’s attorney, Larry McRell, Chief Public Defender for the North Central Regional Public Defender's Office, to receive discovery in the case. Dechant and McRell appeared in court via closed circuit cameras from the Riley County Jail. Dechant is being held in the Riley County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
The infant, six-month-old Dominick Lubrano, was pronounced dead at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City on Monday, March 18, 2013, several days after receiving fatal injuries at their Ogden apartment.
Riley County police officers and emergency personnel responded Friday, March 15, 2013 at 5:20 PM to an apartment in the Parkside Apartments on Seventh Street in Ogden for a report of a six-month-old infant not breathing. The baby was taken to Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan and then airlifted to Children's Mercy Hospital for treatment where he passed away three days later.
Sabrina Lubrano, Dominick's mother, says her son died of Shaken Baby Syndrome. That night, she ran to the store for just a few minutes. Dechant was watching her two sons at their apartment. She returned to a horrifying scene. Neighbors reported that the baby had turned blue around the mouth and was limp and having trouble breathing.
According to Lubrano, she left her children with Dechant many times before without any problems. Her family says they trusted Dechant, calling him soft-spoken, polite and helpful- leaving them shocked in the wake of Dominick's death.
Dominick's funeral will be held Thursday, March 28th at 10:30 AM at First United Methodist Church in Manhattan. A viewing will be held at the church that same morning from 9:30 AM- 10 AM. The viewing and funeral are open to the public. The child will be buried at the Ogden Cemetery.
A memorial fund has been set up through Kansas State Bank for Dominick. Donations can be made at any branch location to the Dominick James Lubrano Memorial Fund to help the family in their time of mourning. Donations can also be made to the Yorgensen Meloan Londeen Funeral Home in Manhattan.
A mug shot of Michael Dechant is not available from the Riley County Jail. The Riley County Police Department does not release booking photos from their jail.