SCRANTON — A man from Lackawanna County is now charged with murder and may face the death penalty for the beating death of a 10-month-old child.
Eddie Widdick of Jermyn was arraigned Monday morning on first degree murder charges.
Widdick has been locked up since March when he was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly hitting the 10-month-old child’s head against a metal crib.
The baby died a day later, and now widdick’s charges have been upgraded to murder.
It took medical examiners months to rule on an official manner of death for Silas Zorek, 10 months old, who died in March. Video from his mother’s Facebook page shows Silas shortly before his death.
Baby Silas had several injuries on his body but an autopsy found it was a blow to his head that killed him.
His mother’s boyfriend, Eddie Widdick of Jermyn, has now been charged with his murder.
“The number of contusion sites, or instances of abuse, this wasn’t a one-time fall like Mr. Widdick initially claimed in his statement and we believe the evidence will bear that out throughout the process,” said Lackawanna County Deputy District Attorney Jen McCambridge.
McCambridge says she’s considering asking for the death penalty for Widdick who was charged with first and third degree murder.
“I believe we will. We certainly have to look at everything but the age of the victim is certainly a factor, an aggravating factor, and I believe going forward that it will be contemplated in this office,” McCambridge said.
According to court papers, that day in March, Widdick was at his girlfriend’s home in Olyphant watching her five children and two others. Widdick called 911 when Silas stopped breathing. He told first responders the child fell. Widdick later admitted he got angry and hit Silas’ head on a crib.
Autopsy results show many more injuries than that.
The child’s mother Ashley Nelson is not facing criminal charges, something her former neighbors in Olyphant disagree with.
“I think she should be charged as well. I don’t think it’s fair that she wasn’t or nothing came out right away that she wasn’t,” said Kristie Hoover of Olyphant.
Investigators say the rest of Nelson’s children have been in protective custody since the incident in March
Widdick is locked up without bail. He is expected back in court in a few weeks.