Trial for former Tomahawk resident charged with death infant son rescheduled for Oct. 2021
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
MERRILL – The jury trial for former Tomahawk resident Henry Robert Hughes, who faces one felony count of first-degree reckless homicide and one felony count of child abuse in the 2016 death of his infant son, has been rescheduled for Oct. 8 through Oct. 22, 2021.
The trial was originally scheduled for Nov. 2019, but was delayed to October of this year after a key witness in the case was admitted for emergency surgery that required six weeks of recovery.
According to court records, Judge Jay R. Tlusty removed the scheduled October trial in July and set the new dates for the trial on Oct. 19.
Hughes was 20 years old at the time of the infant’s death.
According to a Tomahawk Police Department Incident Report filed in Lincoln County on Nov. 2, 2016, Hughes and his wife, the infant’s mother, brought the infant into the Tomahawk Ministry Health Care Emergency Room at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Sept. 4, 2016. Hughes and the infant’s mother stated the infant had started coughing and stopped breathing, and Hughes had administered CPR.
Hughes later told Tomahawk police officers that he was making dinner when the infant began to cry, so he laid the infant in its crib. After the infant began to choke and turn blue, Hughes administered CPR, and a white fluid began coming out of the infant’s mouth. Hughes then called the infant’s mother, who was at work at the time of the incident, and the two took the infant to the hospital, according to the report.
The report says officers told Hughes that the infant’s injuries were not consistent with his story, and that the injuries the infant had sustained don’t happen from a cough, but when an infant is shaken or dropped.
Johanna Miller, a social worker employed by the Lincoln County Social Services Department, told officers that the infant’s injuries consisted of a subdural hematoma of the brain, a metaphyseal ankle fracture and bi-lateral fractures to the ribs.
Dr. Kristen Iniguez of Marshfield Clinic described the infant’s injuries as “severe high velocity injuries” (previously known as Shaken Baby Syndrome) and stated that she believed the injuries to the infant’s head and brain were due to abusive head trauma.
The infant died on Sept. 18, 2016, at 23 days old.
Hughes was taken into custody by Tomahawk police on Nov. 1, 2016, after police received a verbal autopsy report that confirmed the medical accusations.
Hughes is scheduled to appear in court on March 5, 2021 for a status conference. If convicted, he could serve up to 75 years in prison.