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Infant’s father faces possible homicide charge; records detail home’s “deplorable condition”

Posted at 9:28 PM, Dec 04, 2014

ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. -- Three-month-old Jase Colby's father is in the Allegan County Jail, accused of causing the injuries that led to his son's death.

According to a search warrant administered by the sheriff's department, Jonathan Colby, 22, admitted to striking the infant in the head twice because the baby wouldn't stop crying.

It's not exactly clear when the baby was hit, but Colby told investigators it was "in the past few days." The infant lived with his mother and father on Starlite Drive in Allegan Township.

The sheriff's department said he was found unresponsive Wednesday morning around 1:25 a.m.  The baby's mother performed CPR until deputies arrived and took over.

The infant was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

"No little baby deserves that. I mean, baby is only like 12 pounds. He just crying. That's what babies do," one of the infant's aunts said.

She wanted to remain anonymous, but she also wanted to voice her concerns. Born seven weeks premature, Jase's own flesh and blood now faces a homicide charge.

"It's difficult when you have a case when someone was obviously this young and not seeing obvious signs of injury or something at the time you first make contact," Captain Frank baker with the sheriff's department said.

"When the deputies first arrived there isn't an obvious sign of injury," he reiterated.

Through an autopsy performed the same day and a confession from Colby, the sheriff's department arrested him on probable cause.

According to the search warrant, Colby admitted to investigators he had been drinking and was under the influence of marijuana.
 He said some time in the past few days, he struck his son Jase twice in the head because he wouldn't stop crying.

Colby told investigators he wasn't sure how hard he hit him.
 The warrant states his parents put Jase to bed Tuesday night. He had a fever of 102 degrees. The child was found around 1:25 a.m.

The parents told investigators they'd been smoking marijuana hours before finding their child unresponsive. That's something they'd been warned about before by Child Protective Services.

"She loved her kids so much," the aunt said.

Now the infant's mother is fighting to keep custody of another child. The couple's 20-month-old boy was removed by Child Protective Services.

According to court records, the home is in "deplorable condition." Pictures from that court file show cockroaches in a glass on the bathroom sink. Documents say the home was filthy and dog feces was throughout on the floor.

Cockroaches were found on the walls, in the baby's crib and blanket.

Water in the home also tested positive for E. coli.

Facts about the home's condition will likely be considered as the mother tries to keep custody of her other child.

Colby is expected to be arraigned tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.