November 9, 2006 at 8:38 a.m.
Baby Joshua was transported to Fairview Lakes Medical Center in Wyoming in respiratory arrest, was stablized and airlifted to Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. Three days later Joshua died within hours of removing him from life support systems (August 19.)
Authorities made several interviews with 21-year-old Jason James Nordin before filing charges. Nordin is charged with first degree assault and third degree assault and was booked November 2.
The felony charges are for substaintial bodily injury resulting in rib fractures of the infant and for great bodily harm causing a head injury. Maximum penalties are 20 years for the first degree assault charge and five years on the third degree assault.
The criminal complaint states several doctors examined Joshua in the days he was hospitalized and concluded the baby had suffered Shaken Baby Syndrome and “inflicted trauma.” Doctors’ findings detailed in the criminal complaint include retinal hemorrhages in both eyes, collection of blood around the baby’s brain, and rib fractures. The baby had suffered “significant trauma” at least a week prior to admission.
The Ramsey County medical examiner ruled the manner of death was homicide.
In the early days of the investigation both Kunshier and Nordin denied knowing of accidents or mishaps that would have injured Joshua causing the older injuries doctors noted. In ensuing interviews Nordin acknowledged he may have dropped Joshua and said at one point he fell down some stairs holding the infant.
Later, according to the complaint, Nordin described a couple of times when he shook and squeezed the infant because he was distressed and frustrated. In an interview with a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent, Nordin told the agent he knew what he’d done, but did not intend to kill the infant.