PETERS TOWNSHIP, Pa. — A Washington County man charged with homicide in his baby’s death could face the death penalty.
On Tuesday, Washington County District Attorney Jason Walsh announced he is seeking the death penalty against Jordan Clarke.
On May 23, Peters Township police responded to 148 Pleasantview Drive for a report of an infant not breathing. The baby was unresponsive, lying on the floor and his skin had a bluish hue, according to the criminal complaint. He gasped for air once before he appeared to stop breathing again.
Clarke, the baby’s father, told officers that he fell on top of him. He later said he was carrying the baby and was in the process of getting a baby bottle with formula when his foot caught on a grocery bag and he fell with the child in his hands.
An officer saw blood begin to bubble from and collect on the baby’s nose before EMS arrived to take him to the hospital. He was flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, where he died the next day.
According to the criminal complaint, on May 27, police received a copy of the UPMC Child Advocacy Consult, which said in part that the baby’s injuries were “gravely concerning for physical abuse.” It also said that the child “has no evidence of underlying medical condition which would result in these injuries. This constellation of injures is not consistent with the provided history that this child’s father fell onto him from a standing height.”
The doctor who wrote the report said the baby had subdural hematomas over both sides of the brain, multiple layers of retinal hemorrhages in both eyes and in all four quadrants and possible fractures to both tibias.
Jordan Clarke is facing charges of homicide, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
A formal arraignment is scheduled for Oct. 3, 2022.
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