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A Nevada Man Abused His Weeks-Old Son Until He Died. Medical Experts Say The Case Was Among the Worst They’ve Ever Seen.

Nevada Man Abused His 2-Week-Old Son, Worst Case Experts Ever Seen
Source: Mega; Washoe County District Attorney’s Office

Nevada man to spend at least 20 years in prison for the murder of his 2-week-old son.

Oct. 15 2023, Published 8:09 a.m. ET

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A man in Nevada will spend at least 20 years behind bars for killing his 2-week-old son, who died from injuries caused by abuse, according to authorities.

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.

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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.

On Oct. 9, Melzo was sentenced to 50 years in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years for the first-degree murder conviction.


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