On April 3, 2020, officers with the Reno Police Department responded to a a call about the infant having trouble breathing, according to the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office.
The child, Zayden, was transported to a hospital and tests revealed he was suffering from multiple brain bleeds as well as retinal hemorrhaging, indicating he had suffered “significant trauma,” officials said.
The boy died from his injuries four days later, on April 7.
During the investigation into Hayden's death, medical officials “determined that the abusive head trauma that Zayden suffered was the result of child abuse," and police said they believed the boy’s father, 28-year-old Craig Melzo, “was responsible for his son’s death.”
During Melzo's trial, medical experts for the prosecution testified that “internal damage done to Zayden was some of the worst they had ever seen in their careers,” according to the district attorney’s office.
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Deputy District Attorney Nicole Hicks argued in court that Zayden suffered “extreme and catastrophic trauma,” which should have sent Melzo to life in prison without parole.
The judge hearing the case, however, sided with Melzo’s attorneys, who said the jury should be responsible for deciding the sentencing requirements.
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