Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City

April 17, 2014 -- A Baltimore City Circuit Court jury convicted Dion Ware, 21, this afternoon of child abuse resulting in death for killing his six-week-old son. The jury could not reach a consensus on the charge of second-degree murder.

On November 26, 2012, police responded to the 300 block E. 22nd Street in the Barclay neighborhood for a call for service in reference to a child not breathing. When they arrived, the child’s father, Ware, told officers that he had given his son a bottle of formula and put him down for an afternoon nap. Ware said that when he went back into the bedroom 20 minutes later to check on the child, he noticed his son was having trouble breathing and therefore began to administer CPR. Ware claims that he soon realized he was pushing too hard on the child during CPR so he ran out into the street and asked someone walking by the house to call 911. The child’s mother, who had been running errands earlier in the day and left the child in Ware’s care, returned home shortly before the incident and was washing dishes in the kitchen at the time. She did not know anything was wrong with her son until the police and paramedics arrived at her house.

The child was rushed to Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Children’s Emergency Room where he was pronounced dead. When examining the body, doctors found severe bruising to the right side of the child’s face and chest, as well as multiple fractured ribs. Based upon these multiple injuries, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide.  

The defendant later admitted to hitting his son because the child would not stop crying.

Assistant State’s Attorneys Kelly Burrell and Katherine Smeltzer prosecuted the case.

Scheduled for sentencing on June 10, 2014, Ware faces a maximum of 30 years in prison. The State’s Attorney’s Office will conduct an evaluation of the case to determine whether to retry the defendant on the second-degree murder charge.

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