Now a THIRD case has surfaced of a South Carolina man abusing (murdering) a baby. This is the third case in TWO WEEKS. This particular killer is unnamed, and it's not made clear if he's the baby's father or merely a boyfriend or "caretaker" of some sort. He is charged with homicide by child abuse. Just recently, TWO OTHER cases of South Carolina dads killing their infants were reported IN THE SAME COUNTY. We have posted on both fathers before. One is LEXIE DIAL III (who is also discussed below) and the other is CURTIS SWEATT (actually this news account is out of date. That baby, reported here as "severely injured," has also died.) Check out the South Carolina tab below for more information.
Not again: 3rd SC man charged with hurting infant
Posted: Jan 21, 2010 2:12 PM CST
Updated: Jan 21, 2010 2:30 PM CST
GASTON, SC (WIS) - Bond was denied Thursday morning for a Gaston man accused of homicide by child abuse.
This was the third incident in two weeks in which different South Carolina men have been charged with injuring babies -- two incidents in York County recently involved two different unrelated 4-month old children. (See related story)
This week, officials arrested 18-year-old Lexie Dial III Wednesday after his 5-month-old son, Joshua, died while the child was under his care.
The Lexington County Sheriff's Department says Dial shook the child so hard that the baby almost immediately lost consciousness and suffered severe brain trauma.
Two men in York County were charged two weeks ago with injuring different 4-month-olds. In once case the baby died, in another the baby was severely injured.
At the hearing, Dial declined to comment to the judge on the circumstances surrounding how the child died.
Arrest warrants say Dial provided detectives with information that was inconsistent with the nature of Joshua's injuries, according to doctors at Palmetto Health Richland.
The doctors told detectives the child's injuries were consistent with non-accidental blunt force trauma.
Dial's attorney, William Rast, told the judge Dial is not a flight risk. Rast declined to comment on the case.
Autopsy results reveal Joshua had a subdural hemmorage and cerebral edema as a result of his injuries.
Meanwhile, Dial's family members are having a tough time dealing with Joshua's death and Dial's arrest.
Misti Rife, Joshua's mother, is in the middle of what can be described as any mother's nightmare.
"In between feeling like I'm crazy, numb, I can't believe all this is happening," she explained.
Rife says she was at work when she learned Joshua was taken to Palmetto Health Richland. The child later died there. She says Dial told her what happened.
"He said he was feeding the baby and he stood up and him and the baby both fell."
Dial's father, Lexie Dial, Jr., came to his son's defense, calling Joshua's death "accidental." Other family members echoed that sentiment.
"He's just a loving fellow and it's just hard to believe that they would think that he would do something like this to Joshua," said Shelba Williams, the baby's grandmother.
"It's very hard," said Williams. "It's just hard to believe that he won't see his first birthday."
The family says they feel this is a case where Dial is not innocent until proven guilty, it's the other way around.