Nevada man tortured 7-month-old to death over 3 days, beat 4-year-old for having trash under bed, police say

Nathan O'Dell, 24, called 911 on May 12 at around 7 am, reporting that the baby was "ill and not breathing"


                            Nevada man tortured 7-month-old to death over 3 days, beat 4-year-old for having trash under bed, police say
(Elko County Sheriff's Office)

ELKO, NEVADA: A 24-year-old man from Nevada is reportedly facing first-degree open murder charges after he repeatedly beat a seven-month-old baby over a period of three days, resulting in the infant's death.

The man, identified as Nathan O'Dell from Elko, is also accused of beating the infant's 4-year-old brother so badly that he needed medical assistance and hospital care. O'Dell reportedly beat the boy because he had trash under his bed, according to the Elko Daily Free Press reports.

Elko police said that the 24-year-old was left in charge of the baby and the 4-year-old while the mother had gone for work out of town. The nature of the relationship between O'Dell and the children's mother has not yet been revealed, however, authorities said that O'Dell was not the father of the children. Authorities revealed that O'Dell admitted to them that the assault unfolded over a period of three days.

He reportedly hit the baby in the head "out of frustration," struck the infant "about a half-dozen times," threw it onto a bed, tossed the baby in a playpen, and then forcefully squeezed the baby "while trying to console him." The 24-year-old called 911 on May 12 at around 7 am, reporting that the baby was "ill and not breathing."

O'Dell, while explaining the situation to reporting authorities, initially said that he had left the baby unattended so that he could change his clothes. However, when he came back he discovered that the baby was not breathing. He also told the police that he had dropped the baby on his head at the height of about 12-18 inches in the shower while he was attempting to revive the infant by splashing its face with cold water, reports state. 

After questioning, O'Dell, at the hospital, later admitted to the abuse he had inflicted on the children. The child was rushed to the Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City where succumbed to his injuries nearly two days later. According to doctors, the 7-month-old had multiple skull fractures consistent with violent shaking, which is referred to as “shaken baby syndrome.”

The baby's death was ruled as "abusive head trauma resulting in brain damage," the outlet reported. Reports state that the concerned family members also took the four-year-old to the hospital where he was also found to have severe bruising and injuries all over his body, particularly in the buttocks area. The 24-year-old admitted to spanking the little boy as discipline for having trash under his bed.

O'Dell has now been charged with open murder, "including first-degree murder committed in the perpetration or attempted perpetration of child abuse." He has also been charged with felony child abuse or neglect against the 4-year-old boy. 

It is reported that the 24-year-old might face a death penalty in the case if convicted. A complaint signed last week by District Attorney Tyler Ingram said the state may seek to impose the death penalty if O’Dell is convicted, according to the outlet. 

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