Man accused in infant's death ordered to stand trial - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Man accused in infant's death ordered to stand trial

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The former operator of a Clairemont daycare facility must stand trial on charges of assault on a child causing death and second-degree murder in the alleged shaking death of an 11-month-old boy who was under his care, a judge ruled Tuesday.

James Patrick Nemeth, 38, is charged in the May 2012 death of Louis Michael Oliver.

According to evidence presented at his preliminary hearing, Nemeth was alone with the child for about an hour the afternoon of May 23, 2012.

A San Diego police detective testified that Nemeth said he woke the child up from a nap and found him to be a "little limp," putting him in a car seat while he tended to other children. Nemeth told investigators that when he turned his attention back to Louis, he found him unresponsive and not breathing, according to the detective.

Deputy District Attorney Nicole Rooney alleged Nemeth lied about when he called 911, dialing the emergency number only after he talked on the phone with his mother for four minutes.

The baby was pronounced dead the next morning. Doctors testified that he had severe retinal hemorrhages and suffered non-accidental trauma.

Rooney alleged the defendant inflicted a head injury on the baby about eight days before fatally injuring him.

Another San Diego police detective testified that Nemeth's adult daughter told investigators that her father had a temper and yelled at children at his daycare facility, where she also worked. She told police that her father would become frustrated when babies cried, the detective said.

A former employee told authorities that she called Child Protective Services after seeing Nemeth push a boy down a hallway and press the boy's nose against a wall, a district attorney's investigator testified.

Nemeth was arrested Oct. 30.

Judge Kenneth So ruled that enough evidence was presented for Nemeth to proceed to trial. The defendant faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the assault charge.

A Superior Court arraignment is scheduled for March 19.

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