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'I lost my cool': Father charged with aggravated battery in infant son's shaken-baby death

Posted at 11:58 AM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 14:00:39-04

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis father told a detective "I lost my cool" when prosecutors say he caused the shaken-baby death of his 4-month-old son.

Marion County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Brandon Herring, 22, with aggravated battery in the death of Jaxson Thompson, 4 months, on Saturday. Herring was still being held in the Marion County Jail on Wednesday morning, records show.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Jaxson was shaken with such force on Friday that he suffered the brain injuries that ended the infant's life on Saturday.

Jaxson was hurt while his mother Savannah Thompson was at work, according to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Jaxson Thompson

The boy was in Herring's care at an apartment in the 2900 block of South Pennsylvania Street when Herring called 911 about 5 p.m. Friday.

Medics took Jaxson to Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health. Jaxson was "in critical condition and was not expected to survive," according to the affidavit.

Initially, according to the affidavit, Herring told IMPD Detective Daniel M. Henson that Jaxson was drinking a bottle of formula when he started having trouble breathing and suddenly went limp.

Later, records say Herring told the detective that he accidentally dropped Jaxson on his head.

The detective challenged Herring's story, records say, and demonstrated how Jaxson may have been hurt by shaking a doll.

“I lost my cool,” Herring responded, according to the affidavit.

Herring, according to the affidavit, then used a baby doll to show how he shook Jaxson for seven to 10 seconds.

Brandon Herring crop.jpg
Brandon Herring

Herring told Henson he stopped shaking his son “because I realized I was doing something wrong," according to the affidavit.

Herring appeared in Marion Superior Court Wednesday morning for his initial hearing. A jury trial has been scheduled for Dec. 8.

Aggravated battery is a level 1 felony that carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison if convicted.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to assist with funeral costs for Jaxson.

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at or on Twitter: @vicryc.