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Racine teen charged with reckless homicide in death of 1-month-old child

Racine County Courthouse
Posted at 9:42 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-22 22:42:38-05

RACINE — A 17-year-old Racine teen is facing a first-degree reckless homicide charge in the death of his 1-month-old child and additional charges in the beating of his other child, prosecutors say.

Shavale J. Powell was charged with first-degree reckless homicide - as a party to a crime, physical abuse of a child - intentionally causing bodily harm and physical abuse of a child - intentionally causing bodily harm. If found guilty, Powell could spend up to 72 years behind bars and pay $20,000 in fines.

A criminal complaint released Monday states authorities were called to a home in the 1800 block of LaSalle Street in Racine on Feb. 14. There, they found a 39-day-old infant deceased. The parents, Powell and an 18-year-old woman named Javian Clark, were present, who told investigators they had been caregivers to the now-deceased child between Feb. 6 and Feb. 14.

The Medical Examiner's Office concluded the child died from blunt force trauma to the baby's head, chest and extremities, and ruled the death a homicide.

Also in the home when police arrived was the second child, 1 year 6 months old, of Powell and his partner. That child had significant bruising and an injury to his left eye. The parents told law enforcement that the child had hit his face when he slipped in the shower while his mother was at work and Powell was at home, the complaint states. The Racine County Children's Advocacy Center meanwhile ruled the injuries concerned abuse, according to prosecutors.

Investigators also learned the older child suffered an injury to his eye in February of 2020, when he was five months old, the complaint states. The child was sent to the emergency room and diagnosed with a severe subconjunctival hemorrhage.

During an interview with authorities, neither parent could explain any kind of trauma that would have resulted in such a serious injury to such a small child, the complaint states.

Powell will be in court for his preliminary hearing on March 4.

According to court records, the mother, Javian Clark, is not facing charges. But the Racine Journal Times reports she will be charged on Tuesday, citing the Racine County District Attorney.

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