Leola man charged in death of infant son - abc27 WHTM

Lancaster County

Leola man charged in death of infant son

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A Lancaster County man has been charged in the death of his four-month-old son.

Jesus Manuel LaSanta, 27, admitted to police that he pulled the infant out of a play seat, beat the child against his chest, and violently forced him onto a bed, according to charging documents.

Police were called to LaSanta's home in Leola on January 13 for a report that the baby was choking. When responding officers asked LaSanta if he dropped or shook the baby, he insisted he only tried to save the child by performing CPR, documents state.

LaSanta's son Nazareth died three days later at a hospital. An autopsy indicated he suffered brain damage and cracked ribs.

LaSanta was charged with criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of a child. He was sent to Lancaster County prison without bail and faces a preliminary hearing on February 1.

Nazareth Lasanta is the latest in a disturbing trend of child homicides in Lancaster County. District Attorney Craig Stedman said prosecutors have four active child homicide cases.

"We just hope it stops," Stedman said. "There's just no excuse for any of this stuff.  Being a parent is stressful, but there's never a reason for this."

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