The Valparaiso man
charged in connection with the death of a 2-year-old Chesterton boy last
summer--his girlfriend’s son--is facing 30 years in prison after admitting
he shook the boy violently, then told investigators that the boy fell off a
Felix Richard Duron,
27, with a listed address of 380 Clearcreek Road, was originally charged
with neglect of a dependent, a Level 1 felony punishable by a term of 20 to
40 years; and battery, a Level 2 felony punishable by a term of 10 to 30
agreement, Duron would plead guilty to neglect of a dependent, with a
stipulated sentence of 35 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.
Five of those years would be suspended and served on formal probation,
leaving Duron a term of 30 years in the DOC.
Under new statutory
sentence ranges which took effect in Indiana on July 1, 2014--18 days before
Duron, in a fit of anger, picked up Bently Mihal and shook him--Duron would
be required to serve 75 percent of that prison term: 22 and a half years.
Prior to July 1,
2014, a 30-year prison sentence effectively meant 15 years behind bars: half
of the term, that is, as prisoners were given one day of credit for each day
According to the
probable cause affidavit filed by Det. Sgt. Chuck Rinker, Duron originally
advised police that he found the 2-year-old Bently lying unconscious on the
ground next to a trampoline, in the backyard of his girlfriend’s home in the
1000 block of Woodlawn Ave. Duron guessed that the boy had either fallen or
jumped off the trampoline and landed hard.
airlifted to University of Chicago Medicine Comer’s Children Hospital, where
he died on July 20 of bilateral brain hemorrhage, indicative of a traumatic
On July 30,
however, Duron changed his version of events, saying that he’d actually
pushed the boy down a hallway to the toilet, causing him to trip and hit his
head on the floor and a wooden shelf, Rinker stated in his affidavit. Duron
also said that he waited 20 minutes to call 911, during which time he tried
to revive him.
Finally, on Sept.
23, Duron changed his story one last time, saying that he’d been awakened by
the boy’s crying and had walked him to the bathroom, where Bently fell at
the step, evidently irritating Duron, Rinker stated.
“In a fit of
extreme anger and resentment” he picked up the boy to the level of his chest
and shook him “like he would shake a man,” Duron admitted.
Duron then stated
that he put the unresponsive boy down on the living room couch and
fabricated the trampoline story.
Court Judge Roger Bradford has set sentencing for July 27.