Lake Superior Court jurors reportedly convicted a Merrillville man of neglect of a dependent in the death of his infant daughter, but acquitted him of a murder charge.
After about eight hours of deliberations, jurors reportedly also deadlocked on battery and aggravated battery charges against Nelson Julian Santiago, who faces from 20 to 50 years at his May 4 sentencing hearing before Judge Diane Ross Boswell.
Prosecutors reportedly argued that Santiago intentionally killed 5-month-old Juliana Klobucar by violently shaking her, while the defense countered with its own expert who raised other scenarios to the state’s shaken baby syndrome.
In his closing argument, deputy prosecutor Michael Woods reportedly said Juliana beat the odds after being born about seven weeks’ premature, but died a violent death at the hands of her father for whom she was named.
Woods reportedly reminded the eight-woman, four-man jury of testimony that Santiago, 21, was disappointed that his then-girlfriend was pregnant with a girl and asked her to give up the child for adoption. Santiago didn’t put his name on the birth certificate and had lived with the child’s mother, Ann Marie Klobucar, their young son and Juliana for about a week before the baby’s suffered a subdural hematoma, brain swelling and retinal hemorrhaging on July 28, 2010.
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