Trial delay for accused baby killer

Brandon Bottom

MICHIGAN CITY – The jury trial for accused baby killer Brandon Lee Bottom was supposed to begin Monday, but has been pushed back until January because of a congested schedule in La Porte Superior Court 1.

Bottom – who is accused of beating his 8-week-old son to death earlier this year – will return to court for a final pretrial conference on Dec. 12, with his new trial date for Jan. 13, 2020.

He is charged with three felonies stemming from the death of Corey James Bottom: aggravated battery, neglect of a dependent resulting in death, and battery resulting in death to a person under age 14.

If convicted, Bottom could face up to 110 years in prison.

Corey Bottom was just 57 days old when he died at University of Chicago Medicine – Comer Children’s Hospital on Feb. 5.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office listed the infant's cause of death as “closed head injuries due to blunt force trauma.”

His autopsy revealed the baby had also suffered a broken rib, and had multiple other ribs in various stages of healing from previous fractures, according to the medical examiner's office, which ruled the death a homicide.

Four days before he died, Corey’s mother had rushed him to Franciscan Health Michigan City after coming home from work to find him “very pale with shallow breathing and unable to open his eyes,” court documents say.

Medical professionals at Franciscan contacted the La Porte County Sheriff’s Department to report their suspicion that Corey had been shaken, as he'd suffered injuries including a brain bleed; swelling of the brain; a dilated, unresponsive left pupil; and bruising along his right side, court documents show.

Brandon Bottom was arrested on Feb. 8, after his 6-year-old daughter and her 10-year-old uncle reported in separate forensic interviews that they’d witnessed Bottom being abusive to the baby.

According to the probable cause affidavit in the case, the 10-year-old told staff at Dunebrook that he’d witnessed his sister’s boyfriend shaking the baby on the morning of Feb. 1, the same day Corey was admitted to Franciscan.

And the 6-year-old reportedly told them “that she observed instances of her father, Brandon Bottom, being ‘too hard’ on the baby. She also described that Brandon Bottom treats the baby differently when (her mother) was home. She described how her father didn’t do anything but play games on his Playstation while the baby cries,” the affidavit says.

As he awaits trial, Bottom remains in the La Porte County Jail on a cash-only bond of $100,000.

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