Coeburn man charged with death of seven-week-old daughter

Mike Still • Jun 7, 2019 at 10:45 AM

WISE — A Coeburn man faces felony abuse and murder charges in connection with the June 4 death of his seven-week-old daughter.

Nicholas Logan Plaster, 21, of 5820 Carroll Road, was arraigned Thursday in a video hearing in Wise County Juvenile District Court on one count each of felony homicide and abuse of a child causing injury.

According to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday by Wise County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Charles Curry, the unnamed, unresponsive infant was taken to Mountain View Hospital in Norton and pronounced dead. The body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Roanoke that day and, according to Curry, a medical examiner told him that the child had died from head trauma consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

Curry, in his complaint, said that Plaster came to the sheriff’s office on Wednesday for questioning about the child’s death and told investigators that he dropped the baby “numerous times while he got up to feed her throughout the night.”

Plaster, in his statement, indicated that he was alone with the child when it was injured.

Curry said Plaster described how the child was lifeless before he put her to bed. After waking up around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Curry’s report, Plaster held the child and pretended to feed it to keep her mother from knowing something was wrong.

The mother and child were not named in the report or in arrest warrants served on Plaster.

According to Curry, Plaster told investigators that the mother left to get more baby formula and he tried CPR on the child with no result before the mother returned. Plaster then told investigators that he told the mother they needed to take the child to a doctor.

After running out of gas on the way, according to Curry’s report on Plaster’s statement, the couple were able to get a ride to Mountain View Hospital, where the child was pronounced dead.

“According to the medical examiner,” Curry wrote, “the injuries could not have been caused by a fall.”

Plaster is being held in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail without bond, Sheriff’s Col. Grant Kilgore said on Thursday. According to court documents, Greg Baker was appointed as Plaster’s attorney and a second hearing is scheduled for July 10 at 11 a.m.

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