BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — 7 Eyewitness News was in court as a 23-year-old Buffalo man was arraigned in Buffalo City Court Wednesday morning on a second-degree murder charge in connection to the death of a toddler.
The Erie County District Attorney and Buffalo Police Department say Nathaniel Baker is charged with causing the death of two-year-old Jordan Robinson on Tuesday at a home on Theodore Street.
Baker was arrested after a more than three hour stand-off at a home on Sanders Road in north Buffalo.
Police say they were initially called to ECMC, where the suspect and the woman brought the baby. The child was pronounced dead at the hospital.
"Yesterday at approximately at 4:20 p.m BPD was called to ECMC hospital to respond to a dead infant," said Jeff Rinaldo, Buffalo Police Captain.
But police say Baker had already left the hospital and headed to a home on Sanders Road in north Buffalo.
“He was later track down to the address on Sanders which is his sister's house – who she resides there with her two children and I believe an older male – her father,” said Rinaldo.
Rinaldo says Crisis Management and a SWAT team were called because Baker refused to leave the home, where a five-month-old and a year old were inside.
“He was refusing to come out of the house to come out of the house – so that caused the activation of our CMT as well as SWAT team to negotiate his surrendering at approximately three and a half hours – we were able to talk him out of the house without an incident,” Rinaldo explained.
Rinaldo helped carry one of the young children out of the home. After more than three hours Baker surrendered and he was taken into custody.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says Baker was arraigned on the “theory of depraved indifference.”
"There is a special subcategory in the depraved indifference statue. That is specifically for babies and so that is the legal theory that he was arraigned on,” Flynn explained.
Flynn says it appeared the baby was beaten, but investigators area waiting autopsy results.
“It appears that it was some form of a beating death, but that could change with the autopsy,” said Flynn.
The death is sending shock waves through the Theodore Street neighborhood.
Snyetta Wright lives across the street from the home. She teared up thinking about the young child.
“That's not fair to that baby. My heart goes out to him, his mother, his father, his grandmother, his grandfather - whoever they may be, my heart go to them,” said Synetta Wright.
Another person who lives in the Genesee-Bailey neighborhood was also upset. He’s a father and was trying to make sense of the horrible incident.
“R.I.P. to that little boy,” declared the man.
“To that little boy ‘rest in peace’ baby boy in heaven…cause that sad as ever,” remarked Wright.
DA Flynn described depraved indifference as “reckless killing of another human being.”
Flynn said it appears Baker was the woman’s boyfriend, but not the child’s father.
Flynn said the investigation is ongoing to determine what happened but noted there was plenty of evidence to charge Baker.
DA Flynn also offered a warning to women to beware who they date and bring into their homes.
“You just don’t know who you are dating sometimes and obviously people got to be careful on who they bring into their home and who they allowed to watch their children,” Flynn said.
The message was also declared by residents.
“This is a lesson for young, black mothers – be careful who you are bring home – be careful,” Wright shouted.
A Buffalo man, Nathaniel Baker, just arraigned on murder charges for death of a toddler at City Court. Erie County DA office says it happened yesterday on Theodore Street. We are awaiting I more details from @BPDAlerts @WKBW pic.twitter.com/whc98J3uec— eileen buckley (@eileenwkbw) January 8, 2020
Baker has been ordered to return for a felony hearing Friday at 2 p.m. at Buffalo City Court. He is being held without bail.
If convicted on the charge, Baker faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.