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Resor pleads not guilty

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 28, 2015 at 3:53 PM

A Norwalk man denied murdering his then-girlfriend's baby and faces a June 26 trial.

Jeffrey A. Resor, 26, of 33 E. Bouscay Ave., is accused of shaking Donavan Lykins, the infant son of his then girlfriend, Gwen M. Herber, to death while baby-sitting Feb. 24. Prosecutors have said Herber was never considered a suspect in the case.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said Resor and Herber became a couple in December.

"She said she had known of him for a number of years," he added.

Resor is further accused of having shaken Donavan the day before his death, causing brain bleeding, and in ongoing incidents before the boy died, Leffler said last week.

About 9:45 a.m. Feb. 24, a children services investigator reported possible child abuse involving Donavan, Norwalk Police Detective Sgt. Todd Temple wrote in a search warrant filed Feb. 26.

Police received a 9-1-1 call about 1:10 a.m. from a male caller who reported Donavan "was choking on his vomit and they needed EMS," Temple wrote.

The boy, described as gravely ill, was flown by medical helicopter from Fisher-Titus Medical Center to Akron Children's Hospital. A hospital social worker later said Donavan had suspicious injuries and was not expected to survive.

The medical staff reported the boy had "hemorrhaging in his eyes," which was consistent with injuries related to shaken baby syndrome (SBS). The infant had been at Fisher-Titus twice within the previous two weeks, Temple wrote. Resor's defense attorney, K. Ronald Bailey, said SBS cases are "fairly rare." Bailey said he wouldn't describe the suspect as violent.

The attorney hadn't seen a criminal history report on his client or any of the evidence in the case as of Tuesday's arraignment.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Earl McGimpsey said he will oversee Resor's May 7 pretrial hearing, but would request the Ohio Supreme Court appoint a visiting judge for the trial.

McGimpsey is retiring in mid-May. Judge-elect Jim Conway was the Norwalk Law Director when police filed the original complaint against Resor.

On Friday, a grand jury indicted Resor on one count each of murder, involuntary manslaughter and child endangering.

He remains in custody at the Huron County Jail, unable to post a $1 million bond. If convicted of all three counts, he could face 23 years to life in prison.

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