By Shelley Grieshop
A St. Marys man serving a six-year prison sentence for violently shaking and injuring his infant son four years ago, was indicted recently for the child's death in January.
Terry L. Jeffries, who will turn 26 on Sunday, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree felony. He pleaded not guilty to the charge in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court and was placed on a $200,000 bond, even though he remains in prison.
A first-degree felony charge carries a maximum 10 years in prison.
A pretrial hearing is set for Thursday in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court. Jeffries is represented by attorney Gerald F. Siesel of Wapakoneta.
Jeffries was alone with his 5-month-old son, Blake, at the family's St. Marys home in Feb. 2000, when he reportedly became agitated with the child's crying. Terry Jeffries told St. Marys police officers he shook the baby and later called a squad when the child's breathing became irregular and his body became limp. Jeffries was sentenced in Sept. 2000, to six years in prison after pleading guilty to felonious assault, a second-degree felony. The recent indictment was served on Jeffries while a prisoner at Grafton Correctional Institute.
Blake Jeffries survived the attack, known as shaken baby syndrome, but was plagued with seizures, could not speak or perform much movement on his own and was fed through a feeding tube. He was a student at the ABC Center in New Bremen at the time of his death Jan. 11.
His mother, Amanda Jeffries discovered the child not breathing following a nap and summoned 911 to the South Pear Street home. Blake Jeffries was pronounced dead a short time later at Joint Township District Memorial Hospital, St. Marys.
Auglaize County Coroner Dr. Thomas Freytag ruled the child's death was the direct result of the injuries he sustained by his father four years ago.