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Couple facing charges in baby's death - abc27 WHTM

Perry County

Couple facing charges in baby's death

Posted: Updated:
Jamie Cassell Jamie Cassell
James Kauffman James Kauffman
NEWPORT, Pa. (WHTM) -

A Perry County couple is facing charges in the death of their seven-month-old son.

James Kauffman, 21, of New Bloomfield, and Jamie Cassell, 20, of Newport, were arraigned last week on counts of involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, endangering the welfare of children, simple assault, and reckless endangerment.

Court documents indicate that after the couple's son, Jordan Kauffman, died Jan. 28 at Carlisle Regional Medical Center, an autopsy revealed that the infant had at different times during his life suffered two broken arms and two broken ribs.

Police also said in the documents that Jordan, at 12.5 pounds, was severely underweight for his age, and had been diagnosed as "Failure to Thrive" during a December visit with his doctor. A gastrointestinal exam ordered by the doctor was never scheduled by the parents, police said.

An autopsy report, which did not reveal a competent cause of death, stated that asphyxia could not be excluded.

On the night he died, an elastic bandage had been wrapped around Jordan's arm and chest to prevent him from moving an arm broken about three weeks earlier. In addition, the baby had been put to sleep in a car seat with the center strap over his chest, and a blanket had been placed over the top of the seat, possibly creating an oxygen-deprived environment, police said in the papers.

Investigators said in the criminal complaint that Kauffman and Cassell accused each other of abusing the baby.

Kauffman told police that Cassell on one occasion yanked the boy out of the crib by one arm, and that she had tightly wrapped the bandage around his arm and chest the night he died, while Cassell related that Kauffman used to beat Jordan if he didn't go to bed, the court papers state.

Police said acquaintances of the couple reported that both Kauffman and Cassell were neglectful and reckless in their care of the child.

Kauffman and Cassell were sent to Perry County Prison on $500,000 bail. Kauffman was also arraigned on unrelated burglary charges.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 19.

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