July 1, 2016

Partly sunny

Sitter indicted in toddler`s death

ELYRIA — A Cleveland man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son has been indicted by a county grand jury on charges of murder, felonious assault and two counts of child endangering.

Damien Hiley, 21, has been free on $150,000 bond since September, when he was arraigned on the case in Lorain Municipal Court.

County Prosecutor Dennis Will said Hiley would not qualify for the death penalty because the grand jury did not indict him on aggravated murder charges.

Police say Hiley was baby-sitting Nicolas Shaw the morning of Sept. 10 at the Pin Oak Drive apartment where Nicolas and his mom lived. Nicolas’ mother, 23-year-old Candice Shaw, was at work at the time.

Later that morning, Hiley and Shaw rushed Nicolas to St. John West Shore Hospital in Westlake, and the boy was transported to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. Nicolas later died from multiple blunt force injuries to his head and chest, according to the Cuyahoga County coroner.

Shaw and her family have declined comment, but teachers and staff at the Horizon Activities Center on Colorado Avenue, where Nicolas attended day care, said Nicolas was a sweet boy who was always happy and smiling when Shaw left.

Hiley told police Nicolas fell in two separate incidents, striking his head both times, according to Hiley’s attorney, James Gay.

In the first incident, the child was playing and fell and bumped his head, Gay said. In the second, Nicolas fell out of the tub after a bath and bumped his head on the tub.

Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller said the extent of the injuries were much more severe than two individual bruises.

Contact Adam Wright at 329-7151 or awright@chroniclet.com.