Man charged after accused of battering, burning 2 month old son

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MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A Macon man is accused of abusing his 2 month old son after he was taken to the hospital with a brain injury and burns.

Seth Nashland, 31, is charged with aggravated battery to a child. Hospital staff said the child might not survive.

A sworn affidavit reports Nashland took his son, Declan, to Decatur Memorial Hospital on Thursday, February 13 around 10 p.m. Doctors found the infant had both an old, healing brain injury and a newer one, fractured ribs, and 1st and second degree burns to his thigh, legs and genital area. He also had bruises on his right ankle, upper back and right ear.

Nashland told medical staff the baby was hurt by either his dog walking on him or his 3 year old daughter fell on him. He also said he bumped the cold water off on accident while giving his son a bath, which caused the burn.

The Macon County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Nashland the next day. He admitted to deputies he had been frustrated and forcefully pushed his son onto a blanket that was near a TV stand. Nashland said the baby’s head hit it with enough force to cause his eyes to roll back into his head. He also reiterated the burns were because he bumped the cold water off while giving him a bath.

A search of Nashland’s phone during the interview revealed he had searched “How long do you go to jail for infant abuse.” Nashland then admitted to deputies the infant was hurt around noon on February 13, but wasn’t taken to the hospital until ten hours later when he was unable to keep his formula down and kept vomiting.

The sheriff’s office interviewed Nashland again on Wednesday, February 19 where he admitted he had become very upset and shook his son hard enough his yes rolled back into his head. He also said he pushed him to the ground with enough force to break some of his ribs, and his head hit the TV stand in the act. He then decided to give the infant a bath because he was crying. He told authorities he was still extremely upset, but was panicking. He said he lied about the dog and child possibly hurting the infant because he feared embarrassment if anyone found out the truth.

Deputies asked him about the old and healing injuries. Nashland told them they may have happened when his son’s head hit a wall after a near fall down the stairs a week before the February 13 incident. He explained to them he slipped on his carpeted stairs, and his son shifted over his right shoulder before his head hit the dry wall.

The infant is currently at HSHS St. John’s Hopsital in Springfield in the NICU with a nurse dedicated to him. He’s currently using a respirator to help him breathe, and is being given several medications to combat uncontrollable seizures. Staff there said if he does live, he may have problems with his vision and brain damage for the rest of his life.

Nashland has been ordered to have no contact with his son or anyone under the age of 18. He’s being held on a $2 million bond.

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