The Sigourney man accused of killing an infant in Oskaloosa has pleaded not guilty, and will face trial in November.
Johnny Lynn Dale Jr. faces one count of first-degree murder and one count of child endangerment resulting in death. He entered a written plea of not guilty Friday in Mahaska County court. Judge Shawn Showers set Dale’s trial date for November 19th.
Oskaloosa police say the mother of four-month-old Kane Bruns was Dale’s girlfriend. The 21-year-old Dale was watching the infant overnight on June 16th. When Kane’s mother returned home, she found him unresponsive, with pale skin and bruising on his forehead. Kane was eventually taken to Blank Children’s Hospital in Des Moines, where he passed away on June 21st.
Police say Dale told the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation that he had been frustrated with his inability to get the baby to fall asleep, and admitted to bouncing the child on an air mattress. Court filings say the baby suffered severe injuries to both the brain and spinal cord.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Dale faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.