A babysitter charged with attempted murder confessed to throwing a 7-month-old Fort Collins boy across the room after the boy tugged on a video game controller, according to recently released court documents.
The case against Caleb Collins, 24, has been progressing through Eighth Judicial District Court since the Aurora man called for help about 8:30 a.m. June 30. He initially reported accidentally dropping the boy, whom he was watching for a family friend at a downtown Fort Collins residence, the Coloradoan reported previously.
Until recently, the man’s arrest affidavit was not made publicly available, meaning details about the evidence were not reported by news outlets covering the case. New details were first reported this week by the Coloradoan’s media partner, KUSA.
The Larimer County Clerk of Courts office on Wednesday told the Coloradoan the document was released mistakenly to the TV station and should have remained suppressed, or shielded from public view.
Collins initially told investigators the boy was being fussier than usual that morning. He was teething and running a fever, and Collins briefly left him in the living room. He said he returned, picked the boy up and then dropped him while fumbling with a box of DVDs, records show.
The baby was treated and transported to Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland and then flown to Children’s Hospital in Aurora at which point doctors said the boy suffered a skull fracture, bleeding on the brain and near the eyes, and bruising.
Doctors and police investigators said the injuries were not consistent with those a child might suffer due to an accidental drop.
A Fort Collins police detective spoke with Collins voluntarily the next day at the police department and told him the story didn’t match the child’s injuries. Collins eventually confessed the child was crawling toward his PlayStation 4 video game console and pulled on one of the cables.
That’s when Collins “palmed” the child by the face and threw him back. The boy’s head hit the ground multiple times, police wrote.
Days later, police showed the interview to doctors, who said the revised story was, in fact, consistent with the injuries.
Collins was arrested in Aurora in July and has since posted bail. Last month, he waived his right to a preliminary hearing, during which time Judge Julie Kunce Field would have determined whether there was sufficient evidence to accuse him of the alleged crimes.
He has pleaded not guilty, and the case will be heard during a three-day bench trial that begins Jan. 30. Trials by court, also called bench trials, are relatively uncommon for criminal cases. Defendants sometimes seek them when they’re concerned a jury might be less equipped than a judge to grant a fair trial or follow complex evidence.
Collins could face between 16 and 90 years in prison if the judge finds him guilty of attempted first-degree murder and child abuse causing serious bodily injury, both felonies.