A Phelps County grand jury indicted Brent Black, 25, of Rolla, for child abuse and murder on Wednesday. The incident occurred on the January 28, 2013 and resulted in the death of an 11-month-old infant. The infant is only identified in the charge as “S.J.G.”.
On January 26, 2013, an ambulance was dispatched to 1941 Farrar Drive in Rolla due to a report of an infant child that was not breathing. The child was taken to the Phelps County Regional Medical Center and later transferred to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis where she was pronounced dead on January 28, 2013. The indictment alleges Black abused the child by knowingly inflicting an injury to her head. The indictment also charges him with felony murder alleging that the felony of child abuse resulted in the death of the child. In the alternative the indictment charges him with murder in the second degree in that he knowingly caused the death of S.J.G. by inflicting an injury to her head.
Black was arrested on the charges on Thursday, Oct. 10, and is incarcerated in the Phelps County Jail. His bond was set at $500,000. Phelps County Prosecuting Attorney John Beger said the charge of child abuse carries a range of punishment from five to fifteen years in the Department of Corrections and the murder charge has a punishment of ten to thirty years or life. Beger commended the hard work of officers of the Rolla Police Department who investigated the case with the assistance of the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s Office.Beger declined any further comment other than to say, “The charges filed are just accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until a court determines if he is guilty based on the evidence presented.”