Reno Man Suspected of Murdering His Baby

By  | 

Washoe County Sheriff's deputies say Douglas' four month old infant died in early March of this year. Now six month's later, the father is behind bars.

Ronald Douglas is charged with one count of murder...for the death of his young child. He was arrested at Reno's Justice Court downtown, while appearing before a bail reduction hearing.

His attorney, David Houston, says his client got word of the warrant, and was willing to voluntarily surrender to the charges, but wanted to lower his bail amount. Houston says his client denies any wrongdoing.

"There were no external signs of trauma to the baby. We believe he died of natural causes."

In an affidavit for Douglas' arrest warrant, detectives say emergency personnel responded to the suspect's home on Moon Lane in South Reno, on March 10th, 2007...after report of an infant that was choking and bleeding.

When they arrived, the suspect's four-month old baby, Ronald Douglas Junior, was no longer breathing. He was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead the next day. Neighbors say the suspect told them the baby was sickly from birth.

"This baby was born 28 weeks premature. It had respiratory problems, internal problems, more problems than you can imagine," added Houston.

But court documents tell a different story. The day before the child's death, Ronald Douglas says his baby began choking while he was being fed.

However, autopsy reports show potential brain injury, retinal hemorrhaging, and blunt force injury to the baby's head and body. The Washoe County Coroner determined the infant's death a homicide.

Houston says murder would be entirely out of character for his client.

"It would have been so contrary to what everyone knows of this young man to believe that he could possibly ever to his child harm."

The 30-year-old suspect has no prior criminal history and is gainfully employed. He and his wife, laurel, lived together on Moon Lane. Hoston says Laurel is standing by her husband's side.