A Riley County jury heard closing arguments Wednesday in the case of a Manhattan man accused of child abuse.
Deputy Riley County Attorney Bethany Fields argued that Gerald Hartman III acted aggressively last July when he removed a 5-month-old boy from his bouncer while watching the child. The state argued Hartman’s actions resulted in the child suffering a subdural hematoma (or brain bleed), a broken left clavicle and a bruised chest. The incident is said to have occurred when the child’s mother was away at work. Hartman was the lone adult home at the time with the child.
Fields stated that Hartman told a detective he used more force than necessary when grabbing the child, which she claims is enough to convict him of intentional child abuse.
Defense Attorney Trey Bryant argued the incident was a case of negligence and said Hartman did not knowingly cause harm to the child, calling it a tragic accident.
The jury received the case around 4 p.m. Wednesday Judge Grant Bannister instructed jurors they could continue deliberations into the evening if necessary or possibly come back Thursday to resume deliberations.
KMAN will update this story once a verdict has been rendered.
A GoFundMe page was set up for the victim, baby Lunix and his mother last summer following the incident, for medical expenses.