DUBUQUE, Iowa — Prosecutors have dropped a first-degree murder charge against a Dubuque man in the 2012 death of a 2-year-old left in his care.
The charge against Nicholas H. Reed, 35, was dismissed Friday.
Assistant Dubuque County Attorney Chris Corken wrote in court papers that the state no longer had sufficient evidence to prove Reed's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Reed had been accused of killing Bentley J. Randall, who authorities say died Nov. 25 from blunt-force head trauma and had significant burns on his body.
Corken confirmed Reed still faces drug and child-neglect charges related to the case, but said no one else is being charged at this time.
“Nick is happy to be home with his girls and his family,” said Reed's attorney, Robert Montgomery.
According to a criminal complaint, Dubuque police were called to Finley Hospital on Nov. 23, when Bentley was brought in unresponsive and severely burned.
The criminal complaint said Bentley's mother, Kylee Vandermeulen, left her son with then-boyfriend Reed when she went to work.
Vandermeulen told police Bentley was fine when she left for work. Reed said he found the child unresponsive later that night, and in an effort to wake him, started to give him a bath, not realizing the water was scalding hot, according to the criminal complaint.
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