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Someone needs to figure out how to fix CPS. And not a “well if there was better funding we could hire more incompetent people to really half ass things cause we don’t comprehend the gravity of our actions (or lack of)”

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Sugar Cookie

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Jun 4, 2019
Madison County prosecutors are seeking life without parole against Dylan Tate, 28, who is accused of molestation and murder in the death of 18-month-old Harlan Haines in February 2018.

On April 22, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Grey Chandler filed information for a life without parole sentence if Tate is convicted of murder.

The court filing states aggravating circumstances in the case that allow for a life without parole sentence include Tate murdered Harlan "by intentionally killing" the child while committing or attempting to commit child molesting or he tortured Harlan while the child was alive or the fact that Harlan was under the age of 12 at the time of his death.

The state has also filed a request to grant immunity to Harlan's mother, Jennifer Harris, for any evidence she provides against Tate, her boyfriend at the time. Harris is charged with Level 1 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death.

If provided, the evidence cannot be used in any criminal proceeding against Harris unless the evidence is volunteered by her or is not responsive to a question by the prosecuting attorney or the attorney for the defendant, or if she commits perjury.

Harris is listed as a witness and co-defendant in the case.

Court records also list Jacob Wootton as a witness for the defense. Wootton is the stepfather of Ryder Stephen, a 2-year-old from Elwood who died after being found unconscious while in Wootton's care on Oct. 26.

Wootton is charged with Level 1 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in death and murder in the death of his stepson.

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Sugar Cookie

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Dr. Nathanael Swinger was one of the intensive care unit pediatricians at Riley Hospital who treated Harlan. He testified that the first thing he noticed about the toddler was the bruises “all over his body.”

Swinger said it looked like “someone had beaten this kid to hell.”

He also testified to the injuries to Harlan’s anus.

“The only time I have ever seen that is when someone forcefully puts something in their rectum,” Swinger said.

He said Harlan’s injuries were not consistent with a car accident.

Swinger testified that Harlan was declared medically dead on Feb. 25, but “technically — he died before he got to Community.”

In addition to injuries seen when children are shaken violently, Harlan also had two bite marks that appeared to be from an adult and multiple burns that are consistent with cigarette burns, said Dr. Shannon Thompson, a pediatrician who specializes in child abuse.

Unlike normal bruising on toddlers’ elbows and shins, Harlan’s injuries were on his abdomen, the inside of his legs and on the inside soles of his feet. He also had lacerations and linear bruising in his groin area.

Thompson said Harlan’s injuries were consistent with child abuse, not a car accident.

Tate rested his head on his clasped hands and never looked at the child’s images as they were projected onto a large screen for jurors on Monday.

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Sugar Cookie

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Dylan Tate found guilty on all counts. Phase 2 of the trial is moving forward because life without parole is being considered.

An Anderson man already in jail on charges related to the death of an 18-month-old boy has been additionally charged with murder and child molestation.

Dylan Tate, 27, is accused of physical and sexual abuse of 18-month-old Harlan Haines. The toddler died back in February after Tate reportedly crashed his car with Haines inside on the way to the hospital. They eventually made it to Community Hospital.

According to medical professionals at the hospital, Harlan was in respiratory arrest, his pupils were dilated, he had extensive bruising on his body, and went into cardiac arrest. A partial napkin or paper towel was found in his airway. Doctors told police the injuries weren’t consistent with a motor vehicle accident.

There, staff discovered the following injuries: pulmonary contusions, extensive bruising along entire body, anoxic brain injury, intracranial hemorrhaging, multiple soft tissue injuries to head and face, subgleal hematoma, possible bite marks on left arm and left leg, rectal bleeding with a possible tear, bruising on scrotum and genitals, bruising on both feet, abdominal bruising, punctate lesions on torso, upper abdomen and mid upper back, and bruising around his mouth and ears.

On Tuesday, prosecutors filed murder and child molesting charges against Tate.

Earlier this year, FOX59 learned Haines was on the radar of child welfare workers since December 2017.

Photos released by the Indiana Department of Child Services and the Madison County courts this week show the injuries Haines had during a hospital visit that month. The little boy’s eyes were both bruised. There was also bruising along his ear and he had a fractured leg.

Harris told doctors a Christmas tree fell on Haines. Due to concerns from hospital staff about the validity of the mother’s story, a DCS investigation was launched. But, the case was closed a few weeks later and Harlan remained in his mother’s care.
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