Teen father faces murder charge in death of Iowa baby

Baby Gabriel

A teen father, whose baby died while in his care, was charged with first-degree murder.

Four-month-old Gabriel died Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The baby’s 16-year-old mother, who had recently decided not to go through with giving him up for adoption, had reportedly left Gabriel with 17-year-old Drew Wheeler-Smith.

Gabriel was later found, unresponsive, in a chair. An autopsy showed he died of abusive head trauma.

Wheeler-Smith, the baby’s father, was initially charged in juvenile court with neglect of a dependent person.

Court records show Weehler-Smith was charged with first-degree murder and one count of child endangerment resulting in death Monday, April 28, 2014.

The new charges automatically moved the case from the juvenile system into adult court.

Court records showed Weehler-Smith’s bond was set at $500,000 cash for each case, for a total of $1-million cash bond.  He was appointed a public defender and was next due in court May 9.