Kats Faces Attempted Murder Charge After Allegedly Harming Infant
By Liz Shepherd
TIPPECANOE — A Tippecanoe teenager is facing an attempted murder charge after allegedly causing severe, life-threatening injuries to his four-month-old child.
Jacob Glen Kats, 17, Tippecanoe, is charged with attempted murder, a level 1 felony; and aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent resulting in serious injury, both level 3 felonies.
On March 21, a Marshall County Sheriff’s Department detective received a complaint from the Indiana Department of Child Services regarding a child abuse incident which occurred in Tippecanoe.
According to court documents, a report from DCS outlined significant injuries to a four-month-old infant, who was admitted to a Fulton County hospital on March 20 for general discomfort. Kats, the child’s biological father; and the child’s mother took the child to the hospital.
Hospital staff discovered fractures to the child’s ribs and noted the injuries were non-accidental trauma and suspected abuse.
The child was then taken to Riley’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. Once there, doctors documented multiple compression rib fractures on both sides of the child’s body and a sternum fracture, with all injuries appearing to be in the process of healing. Multiple cervical fractures to the child’s neck were discovered as well.
In an interview with the detective, Kats initially denied knowing how the child was injured, then described an incident where the child fell off a bed. When the detective said Kats’ stories did not align with the child’s injuries, Kats became emotional.
He allegedly told the detective he has battled anger issues for a long time and described being frustrated with raising the child. Kats then described how he would squeeze the child under their armpits with both hands and attributed the fractured sternum to the placement of his thumbs on the child’s chest when he squeezed them.
Kats also told the detective he came home angry from school on March 20 and that the child was crying a lot. He allegedly put his hand around the child’s throat and pinned them to a bed while he squeezed their neck until the child lost consciousness.
On March 24, the detective participated in a conference call with a doctor, who said the injuries the child sustained were consistent with the information Kats provided. The doctor said the strangling and loss of consciousness are substantial steps that could result in death regardless of age.
“The trauma from being strangled and losing consciousness can cause nearly instantaneous death or death could be delayed depending on the injuries and could even occur days later,” said the doctor.
The doctor also said the child’s cervical fractures were life-threatening and could have easily resulted in the severing of the child’s spinal cord.
Kats has a pretrial conference on April 12 in Marshall Superior Court One.