A Brewer man has been found guilty of manslaughter for the death of his infant son.

How Did the Child Die?

Ronald Harding called 911 in June 2021 and said that his 6-week-old son Jaden Harding was unresponsive and wasn't breathing. Jaden was transported to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in critical condition where he died of his injuries.

An autopsy revealed that Jaden died from inflicted injuries consistent with being violently shaken and Ronald Harding, who was at the Brewer Police Department, was arrested for manslaughter.

After violating his bail in July 2021, Harding has been incarcerated. Police say he contacted the baby's mother, who was set to testify at the trial. One of his bail conditions stated that he was not allowed to have any contact with her.

What Was the Defense's Argument?

Harding's defense team claimed in court that the child had died of COVID. WABI-TV reports that during the week's testimony, it was revealed that Jaden had initially tested positive for COVID, but then tested negative twice.

How Long Was the Jury Out?

After closing arguments, the jury deliberated for just over an hour before arriving at a guilty verdict for the charge of manslaughter. Harding will be sentenced at a later date.

Jaden's death was one of five cases in the same month in which children four years old or younger died from accidents or serious injuries. Since then, Maine's Department of Health and Human Services has been under scrutiny for their child protective policies.

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