4-month-old’s skull fractured; dad arrested

Chad Martin



A Grand Junction man has been arrested on charges he physically abused his 4-month-old son and failed to seek medical treatment for him, leaving the child with a skull fracture and swelling around his brain.

Chad Michael Martin, 29, made his first appearance in court Monday and was advised he could be charged with felony child abuse. He is being held in the Mesa County Jail on $50,000 bond.

According to an arrest affidavit, the Mesa County Department of Human Services received information Sept. 16
that a child may have an untreated head injury. Case workers located the boy with Martin and the boy’s mother and convinced them to take the child to the hospital.

Martin told a Mesa County sheriff’s investigator he had awakened his son for a feeding early on the morning of Sept. 15 and accidentally dropped him.

He said he saw his son’s head hit the toe of a steel-toed boot on the floor. Martin claimed the boy didn’t seem upset, continued to eat and appeared fine, according to the affidavit.

A doctor described in the affidavit as a “pediatrician expert” for the Department of Human Services examined the baby and determined he sustained a skull fracture with both internal and external swelling but was expected to recover with no complications. The doctor said the injury was consistent with Martin’s story.

Martin told investigators he showed the injury to his mother, and she told him it didn’t appear too serious and didn’t think the baby needed to see a doctor but to keep an eye on him. Martin also said a neighbor he described as a “pediatric nurse” did a quick examination of his son and thought the boy was fine, according to the affidavit.

Investigators spoke with the neighbor’s stepfather, who told them his stepdaughter took a “med tech” class but is unemployed and is not a nurse. Investigators were unable to speak with the woman.

On Sept. 17, Department of Human Services officials contacted the Sheriff’s Office and said the doctor had performed additional tests.

They advised that Martin should be prosecuted and that other doctors agreed the baby’s injuries were not accidental.

The doctor who initially examined the baby said he had developed a bruise on the opposite side of his head from where he sustained a skull fracture, meaning the injuries didn’t fit with Martin’s explanation, the affidavit said.

Martin agreed on Sept. 18 to take a polygraph but then called the Sheriff’s Office the next day and said he instead wanted to speak with an attorney and cancel the polygraph.

Martin’s son ultimately was taken to Children’s Hospital in Denver and underwent surgery.

On May 29, investigators received a report from officials at the hospital that concluded the boy received blunt-force trauma with a large amount of force, the affidavit said.


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