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Man Pleads Guilty To Death Of Toddler
Updated February 5, 2016 8:53 AM | Filed under: Crime
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(JASPER) - A Dubois County man has pled guilty in the death of 17-month-old Xavier Miller of Jasper.

22-year-old Charles Hopf pled guilty in a plea agreement. According to the agreement, if accepted by Dubois Circuit Court Judge Nathan Verkamp, he will serve 40 years at the Indiana Department of Corrections.

Hopf will appear in court on Feb. 4 for the formal acceptance of the plea and sentencing.

According to a probable cause affidavit, on December 20 2014, Jasper police were called to Memorial Hospital after 1-year-old Xavier Miller was taken there by his aunt Asia Clay and Hopf for treatment.

According to police, India Clay, Xavier's mother, was at work. Her sister Asia Clay had been shopping in Evansville and when she returned to their home on Dewey Street she found the baby laying on his stomach on the couch.

Hopf had told her Xavier had fallen from the recliner earlier in the day and had busted his lip on a table. When Clay went to wake Xavier, he was unresponsive and when she rolled him over she saw that the skin on his was peeling off.

The doctor informed police that when Xavier was brought into the emergency room, they determined he had a life-threatening injury to the upper right side of his brain. Medical personnel also observed a fresh bite mark on Xavier's upper right arm, bruising on his upper right thigh and a burn on his face.

Hopf did admit to police that he had been the only one with Xavier and that the burns to the boy's face was from when the child's bath water was accidentally turned on too hot. He also admitted to biting the boy after Hopf claims Xavier had bit him. He told police he bit the boy back to teach him a lesson.

Hopf told the detective that Xavier injured his lip was from a fall from a recliner.

When asked about the head injury, Hopf admitted to pushing the toddler down earlier in the evening when he became frustrated with the boy.

Xavier was transferred from Memorial Hospital to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville where he died from his injuries. The Jefferson County medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the child's head and ruled the manner of death a homicide.

Hopf was originally charged with the Level 1 aggravated battery count. Then, in October, a murder count was added in addition to the original charge.

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