INFANT DEATH: Teen Father In County Jail


Des Moines police say the father of a child killed last week is now in the Polk County Jail.

Seventeen-year-old Drew Weehler-Smith was charged Monday with first degree murder in the death of his son, four-month-old Gabriel McFarland.

The charge automatically waves Weehler-Smith’s case to adult court. He was originally charged with neglect of a dependent person and in custody of the juvenile justice system.

Officials charged him with murder after results of the autopsy showed McFarland died from abusive head trauma. He also faces a charge of child endangerment resulting in death.

Police say the baby died after Weehler-Smith left him alone last Tuesday. The baby’s mother had left him in the care of his father while she ran errands.

Weehler-Smith made his initial court appearance Tuesday morning. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 9th.


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