INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man was convicted for beating his 10-month-old son last year to the point he suffered a brain hemorrhage and several other serious injuries.
A Marion County jury found Michael B. Chatman, 55, after a two-day jury trial, after which he pleaded guilty to a habitual offender sentencing agreement, according to the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.
Chatman was convicted of aggravated battery posing a substantial risk of death and battery with serious bodily injury to a person under 14, both level 3 felonies.
On April 6, Chatman was sentenced to 24 years in prison.
Police began their investigation on Jan. 13, 2021, after receiving a report that a child nearly died at Chatman's home in the 3800 block of North Meridian Street. The child, later determined to be Chatman's son, was transported in critical condition to Riley Hospital for Children.
Chatman told police he found the child unresponsive and with a blue complexion but that everything seemed normal beforehand, according to a probable cause affidavit.
He told police "nothing happened to him at all" and, "I think he's not getting enough nutrition," according to the affidavit.
A detective then asked Chatman for permission to photograph his home, which he initially agreed to but changed his mind, saying he didn't want anything done without his lawyer present. He changed his mind again when the detective said he would request a search warrant, according to the affidavit.
When the boy arrived at the hospital, he was in shock and was suffering a brain injury as a result of his brain going without oxygen. He needed to be sedated and intubated to assist with his breathing.
He also had soft tissue injuries; visible bruises on the top of his head, check, and abdomen; peeling burns on his face and armpit; micro-hemorrhaging to his brain; and deep internal bruising to his right thigh and right gluteal area which required surgery and narcotic pain management, according to the affidavit.
Medical experts determined the boy had suffered nonaccidental trauma, the Prosecutor's Office said.
Afterward, Chatman admitted to lying when he first spoke to police because he had prior issues with the Department of Child Services and said he did not call 911 as soon as he realized something was wrong with his son, according to the affidavit.
He also told police he hadn't checked on his son for at least 13 hours before he realized the boy's condition.