Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hearing delayed for dad accused of causing infant daughter's death (Beaver, Pennsylvania)

Dad is identified as ROBERT M. HEIBERT. No mention of where Mom was while Daddy was violently shaking and assaulting this baby over four days.

Hearing delayed in New Brighton shaken-baby case

Posted: Thursday, August 2, 2012 11:37 am

By Patrick O'Shea

BEAVER -- A preliminary hearing for a New Brighton father accused of causing his infant daughter's death last month by shaking her has been delayed two weeks while prosecutors await autopsy test results.

The hearing for Robert M. Heibert, 28, of 1922 Fifth Ave., Suite 7, has been moved to 11 a.m. Aug. 17.

Heibert already is charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child. But Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh has recommended that a criminal homicide charge be added.

However, before the additional charge can be added, authorities want the results of an autopsy on 2-month-old Melanie Alexander, who died July 26 at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh after suffering what doctors there called signs of shaken-baby syndrome.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office conducted the autopsy and is awaiting results of some tests before making a final ruling.

New Brighton Area police said they were called to Heibert's home on July 24 on a report of an unresponsive baby and determined that Heibert had waited about a half-hour between finding the child with blue lips and calling 911 emergency services.

During a later interview with officers, police said Heibert admitted to shaking Melanie Alexander on at least four occasions in the previous four days because she would not stop crying.

Heibert is being held in the Beaver County Jail on $50,000 bond, but that bond probably would be revoked if a homicide charge is filed.