Murder charge filed in Iowa toddler’s death

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Nicholas Reed (photo from Dubuque Police)

An Iowa  man originally charged with neglect is now accused of first-degree murder in connection with the death of a two-year-old boy.  

The toddler’s mother took him to a Dubuque hospital after he was apparently injured while in the care of her boyfriend.

Police said Bentley Randall was hospitalized with burns and head trauma November 23, 2012.  He died two days later.

The mother’s boyfriend, Nicholas Reed, 34, reportedly told police he was bathing the toddler with a hand-held shower when he realized the water was too hot.  Another child in their home reportedly said she heard what sounded like Bentley’s head hitting the tub.

Reed was charged with neglect or abandonment of a dependent person.   Investigators who searched Reed’s home also charged him with manufacturing methamphetamine and marijuana.

Reed appeared in court Tuesday, December 4, 2012 by closed-circuit video.  An additional charge of first-degree murder was filed against Reed, and his bond was raised to a total of $1.1 million.

Reed remained in the Dubuque County Jail.