The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

April 30, 2014

Death sought for accused baby killer


Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a 22-year-old Ashtabula man accused of beating a 9-month-old baby to death last year in Pennsylvania.
Chad Chadwick, 1389 Hamlin Drive, Ashtabula, is charged with general homicide, as well as other charges that include felonious assault and child endangering, according to court records.
“The Commonwealth (of Pennsylvania) has filed the required notice to seek the death penalty,” Mark T. Aaron, Clarion County district attorney, said Tuesday. “The notice is based on the aggravating circumstance that the victim of the homicide was a child under 12 years of age.”
Chadwick has told the court that he is indigent, so he’s relying on the state to appoint an attorney to represent him. However, often times appointed attorneys are not capable of handling a capital case so the state is finding him one, according to court records.
The case is still pending trial, but a trial date has not been set, Aaron said.
Chadwick’s girlfriend, Kelly Hemminger, same address, faces numerous conspiracy-related charges in the death of her 9-month-old nephew, identified as Zeke Hamilton, son of a Geneva couple, court records show.
Zeke, along with two siblings, were taken by Hemminger and Chadwick to a seasonal residence in Washington Township, Pa., over Labor Day weekend, authorities said. Sometime on the morning of Aug. 31, Zeke suffered serious injury to his chest, limbs and head, police said.
An autopsy cited non-accidental, blunt force trauma as the cause of death, Aaron has said. Several expert witnesses are expected to testify on behalf of the prosecution, he said.
“The facts in this case are very straight-forward,” he said.
Chadwick and Hemminger are being held in the Clarion County jail.
Zeke was found unresponsive in a car seat by a grandfather sent to retrieve the children, according to reports. The baby was sent to a Pittsburgh-area hospital, and died Nov. 15 at a Hospice facility, authorities said.
Pennsylvania State Police investigated the case, and traveled to Ohio to arrest Chadwick and Hemminger, in cooperation with the Ashtabula Police Department and the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office, Aaron said.

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