JEFFERSON - A 4-month-old Lake Mills boy died Friday in Madison, reportedly from injuries sustained when his father allegedly threw him against a wall.
Jefferson County Coroner Patrick Theder has labeled the case involving Nikolai Andrew Wey as a "suspicious death."
Theder indicated that the cause of Nikolai's death at the American Family Children's Hospital in Madison related to head injuries he had sustained.
Born April 1 at Fort Memorial Hospital, Nikolai Wey was the son of Michael F. Wey and Eliana Wey of Lake Mills.
A week prior to his death, about 10:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, Michael Wey, 30, allegedly picked up his son by one leg and, placing his other hand on the child's chest, threw him at a wall with sufficient force to cause cracks to form in the wall. The child then fell into his crib.
For his alleged actions, Wey was taken into custody and charged last week with a single count of physical child abuse, intentionally causing great bodily harm. He remains at the Jefferson County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond.
Assistant District Attorney Tris Baker stated this morning that in the wake of the baby's death Friday, an amended charge now is being considered.
She declined to comment further as to what the amended charge would be.
Theder said reports related to the youngster's death have been submitted to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office for review.
He noted that the full autopsy report was not yet available and when completed, it would be turned over to the district attorney's office to assist in making a final charging decision.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled in the child abuse case on Thursday, Sept. 3, before Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Weston. Any amended charges likely would be filed prior to that hearing being held.
On the abuse charge, Wey is facing a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison and fines of $100,000.
Should the charge be amended to first-degree intentional homicide, the Lake Mills man would be facing a life sentence if found guilty of his son's death.
According to the criminal complaint in the abuse case, Wey told police at least two different versions of how Nikolai's injuries allegedly occurred before revealing that he had thrown the infant against the wall. He reportedly admitted to the latter incident upon being informed that the injuries Nikolai sustained did not match the other stories he was telling.
On Saturday, Aug. 15, at approximately 4:54 a.m. Lake Mills police began investigating a possible child abuse case involving Nikolai Wey. Authorities were advised by officials at Fort Memorial Hospital that Nikolai was transported to Children's Hospital in Madison and the father, Michael Wey, was returning home to Lake Mills.
The child's paternal grandmother told police that Wey, her son, had contacted her to take care of Nikolai around 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, while he went out with a friend regarding job opportunities.
She said Nikolai was playing normally at her house while he was there and that she did not observe any injuries. Michael Wey returned around 10 p.m. to pick up Nikolai.
The complaint states that she said Michael told her he had been drinking and her other son, Matthew, offered to drive him and Nikolai home.
It was not until about 3:30 a.m. Saturday that the grandmother received a call from Michael indicating that something was wrong with Nikolai and they needed his parents to come right away. Later he explained that he was en route to the hospital.
Wey's wife and Nikolai's mother, Eliana Wey, got home from work about 2:10 a.m. The complaint states that Michael came out of the child's room to see her.
She reportedly told police she was not aware of her husband being on any medications at the time.
At around 3 a.m., she heard Michael say something about the baby acting weird.
The complaint states that Eliana went to the baby's room and saw that Nikolai was limp and appeared to not be breathing. There were bruises on the four-month-old's face.
She said she began to do CPR and the couple then decided to take the child to the hospital.
Neighbors reportedly transported Eliana and Nikolai, while Michael followed in a separate car after reportedly locking his keys inside the house. When he returned home from the hospital, officers were on the scene.
"Now guys, just so you don't freak out, I want you to know that after this happened, I punched the wall a couple of times because I was so mad that this had happened," Wey reportedly told police when he arrived home from the hospital, the complaint states.
In addition, he claimed to be groggy because he had been taking a lot of cold medicine.
Wey showed Lake Mills investigators a room in the residence measuring approximately 8-by-10 feet.