West Union, Iowa – A northeastern Iowa man has been charged with first-degree murder in the 2018 death of a 4-week-old infant.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigation says in a news release that 22-year-old Dean Hettinger, of Westgate, was arrested Thursday at the Black Hawk County Jail, where he was being held in an unrelated case. Hettinger is also charged with child endangerment causing death.
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was called April 30, 2018, for a report of a Westgate infant taken to a hospital with severe brain injuries. The baby, Holton Smith, was later taken to an Iowa City hospital, where he died May 27, 2018.
Officials say Hettinger was the baby’s caretaker.