Court documents: Amended charges detail injuries to baby found with defendant

Published 11:56 am Wednesday, May 15, 2024

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The amended complaint filed earlier this month against the Albert Lea man accused of murdering a 2-year-old boy and injuring a 3-month old baby last July details injuries to the baby, including both new and healing rib fractures, along with several marks and bruises.

The baby was in the vehicle that Austin Michael Navarro, 25, was driving after he reportedly fled the scene once authorities were called to Trailside Apartments July 6 after the mother of the children returned home from work and her 2-year-old child was not responding.

Navarro, who had reportedly been in a relationship with the woman for about a year and is the father of the baby, regularly stayed at the home to watch the children while their mother was at work.

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Court documents state firefighters arrived first at the residence after authorities received two 911 calls, and one of the firefighters told law enforcement that someone had left with a baby. Police ultimately pulled over Navarro in a vehicle about nine blocks away.

The criminal complaint states the baby who was inside the vehicle had several dark bruises around his neck and was transported to the hospital, where medical professionals noted swelling of the right eye and several marks and bruises on his head, shoulder, knee, hand, ears and abdomen. He also had multiple rib fractures, including fractures that appeared to be healing, along with others that were more acute, it stated.

The 2-year-old boy had multiple injuries to both his head and abdomen, including multiple rib fractures, a liver laceration and a transection of the pancreas. He also had contusions throughout his face and neck. He was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

Court documents state a relative who had watched both children the evening before the incident stated neither of the children had marks on them at that time.

Navarro has been charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of third-degree assault of a victim under 4 tied to the incident and is slated for a jury trial starting Nov. 4.

Online court records indicate Navarro plans to rely on an intoxication defense at trial.