Madras man accused of trying to kill girlfriend's 2-year-old son

Josue Mendoza-Melo held on $1 million bail

MADRAS, Ore. - A 21-year-old Madras man was arraigned on attempted aggravated murder and other charges Friday, accused of attempting to kill his girlfriend's 2-year-old son earlier this month.

A Jefferson County judge held the bail for Josue Jair Mendoza-Melo at $1 million and scheduled a pre-trial conference for Dec. 14. He was booked into the county jail on Monday afternoon, according to jail officer.

Mendoza-Melo also is charged with first- and second-degree assault and first-degree criminal mistreatment in a four-count indictment that accuses him of trying to kill the boy.

A Jefferson County sheriff's deputy's probable cause affidavit filed Monday said the boy's 24-year-old mother arrived at the St. Charles Madras ER the morning of Nov. 9 carrying the boy, who was "unresponsive and stiff."

The boy later was flown by air ambulance to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, where he underwent surgery to remove a part of his skull to relieve pressure due to swelling of the brain.

A state Department of Human Services caseworker told a deputy that she had talked with a Corvallis nurse and family friend, who said she had received photos of a boy, who the mother identified as her 2-year-old, that showed bruising around the genital area, in different stages of healing. The nursesaid she told the mother to immediately seek medical treatment.

The deputy said Mendoza-Melo told them he had been dating the boy's mother for about four months and was living with her. 

The deputy said Mendoza-Melo told them he had pushed the child in the back, and he fell and hit his head, and the boy then fell trying to go over a baby gate that was on the floor. 

He said the man told deputies the boy hit his head on a door frame and he was "playing ruff (sic) with (the child) in his room and that he was excited." He also reportedly acknowledged shaking the boy "back and forth, smacking the back of his head on the floor."

The deputy said Mendoza-Melo told them he'd used his cellphone to look up concussions and head injuries on the Internet, according to the affidavit.

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