Man charged in death of girlfriend’s toddler in southern Indiana


Jesse Phillips

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UPDATE (July 2, 2019) — Jessie Phillips pleaded guilty to neglect of a dependent causing death and possession of methamphetamine. He was sentenced to 31 years in the Indiana Department of Correction. 

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ind. – A man in Lawrence County has been charged in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s 18-month-old son.

The sheriff’s office say 29-year-old Jessie D. Philips was arrested Tuesday for aggravated battery resulting in the death of a child less than 14 years of age.

Authorities began investigating the toddler’s death last Saturday after a 911 call was placed. The caller reported the child was unresponsive at a home in the 1900 block of Old Vincennes Road in Mitchell.

When first responders arrived to the home, the sheriff’s office say the baby was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post-mortem examination conducted Sunday determined the toddler’s cause of death was an “acute subdural hemorrhage” of the brain and the manner of death was determined to be homicide, according to the sheriff’s office.

Tuesday, Phillips was taken into custody and jailed on a $200,000 bond.

The investigation into the toddler’s death remains active. Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call Detective Sergeant Tyler Phillips at the sheriff’s office at 812-275-3316.

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