Dover Airman Charged in Toddler's 2012 Death - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Airman Charged in Toddler's 2012 Death

Justin K. Corbett Justin K. Corbett

DOVER, Del.- Delaware State Police have arrested a Dover Air Force Base airman in connection with the 2012 death of a 21-month-old boy who was under his care while the child's mother, also an airman at the base, was deployed.

Justin K. Corbett, 25, of Dover, is charged with murder by abuse or neglect in the first-degree when the person recklessly causes the death of a child.

Police said Corbett's arrest on Tuesday stemmed from an incident that occurred on the afternoon of Nov. 3, 2012, when Corbett contacted 911 from his home on DAFB Housing to report an emergency requesting assistance for 21-month-old Evan J. Dudley, who was unresponsive after falling down a flight of eight carpeted stairs.

The child was transported by ambulance to Kent General Hospital in Dover for initial assessment and care and was later transferred to the Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington where he was admitted in critical condition with head trauma and multiple contusions on his body.

Troopers said that just after midnight Nov. 7, 2012, Evan succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the Nemours/AI duPont Hospital for Children.

Police said an autopsy conducted by the Delaware Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Nov. 7 determined that Evan suffered multiple injuries including retinal and other eye injuries, multiple contusions on his head, and brain swelling and bleeding. The cause of death was ruled homicide by blunt force trauma.

Authorities said that after an investigation by police and a review by the Delaware Attorney General's Office, the case was submitted for review to a child abuse expert and pediatric pathologist due to the discovery of undisclosed unique injuries noted during the autopsy. Police said that after their lengthy review and evaluation of the complex case, both experts agreed that the child was the victim of a homicide.

On Tuesday, troopers obtained warrants for Corbett's arrest in connection with Evan's death. Troopers, along with agents from United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations responded to a home on the first block of Hickory Lane, DAFB Housing, where Corbett was taken into custody on the aforementioned charge. He was arraigned and ordered held in the James T. Vaughn Correctional Facility on $100,000 cash bond.  



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