RACINE — A Racine man charged with the Feb. 22 homicide of his infant son pleaded not guilty to the charges in court Wednesday.
Jeremy Marquez, 25, of the 300 block of Wickham Boulevard is charged with first-degree reckless homicide, marijuana possession and bail jumping.
On Feb. 22, Marquez was left home with his 3-month-old infant while the child’s mother went to Kenosha to look at a vehicle to purchase. She reported the child was acting normally when she left.
While she was gone, Marquez called her and said something was wrong with the infant. The mother called 911, and when police arrived, they found the infant lifeless and blue in Marquez’s arms. The child later died at Children’s Hospital in Wauwatosa on Feb. 24.
In March, the courts determined that Marquez was incompetent to stand trial; however, his competency was restored on May 28. Marquez is also charged with marijuana possession in a separate case.
The state moved to bind over the charges — meaning that the court and judge have found that a felony was committed and Marquez committed it. One of Marquez’s attorneys, Margaret Johnson, objected.
“My concern is specifically that there has not been a reckless action that has been determined at this point that specifically resulted in the death of A.H. (the infant),” Johnson said. “I don’t believe we have satisfied the elements in respect to the first-degree reckless homicide.”
Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo said that all the state has the burden to prove at this point in the case is that Marquez committed a felony.
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“At minimum, we have a physical abuse of a child with the bruising ... the forcible, rapid, back-and-forth movement which gave rise to the severe head trauma, causing the death at a time when the defendant was alone with the child; the reasonable inference is he caused that injury leading to the death. I think we have shown probable cause,” Donohoo said.
Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch agreed with the state’s argument and bound Marquez over to stand trial on the charges. A status conference is set for Aug. 9 at the Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave. Marquez is being held in the Racine County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond.
During the hearing, Racine Police Sgt. Sarah Zupke, the lead investigator in the case, said that officers who responded to the scene told her Marquez was the only one home with the infant. Zupke said the child’s mother called 911; however, Marquez never did.
She said that a Children’s Hospital doctor diagnosed the infant’s cause of death as “severe head trauma” caused by “forcible, rapid movements to the head.”
Johnson asked if the infant’s injuries could have been caused by a fall. Zupke said she did not have the medical expertise to answer the question.
“He (Marquez) did not provide us with any information that was consistent with what the doctor told us,” Zupke said.