PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A father, who served time years ago for severely injuring his infant son, is now charged with murder after the young man died from those injuries several years later.
The Braddock man appeared in court Wednesday afternoon to face those new charges.
In 1999, investigators say Lucius Middlebrooks admitted to violently shaking his infant son, Cavelle Mena. Middlebrooks served time in jail, and has been out for 10 years.
But in 2015, Cavelle died. And, now, the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled his death a homicide.
Middlebrooks in now back in jail.
“I don’t think anyone involved believes Mr. Middlebrooks did anything intending for this young man to die. Not then, or since then,” said defense attorney James Sheets.
Middlebrooks waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday. That’s because it’s a very different kind of murder case.
“In a case like this, the determination of guilt or innocence is going to be made based on a lot of expert testimony. This isn’t a whodunit,” said Sheets.
Middlebrooks’ family attended the proceedings with great interest, but refused comment.
His attorney, meanwhile, says this about Middlebrooks: “He’s been living everyday as a law abiding citizen for over a decade now. To suddenly find yourself back in jail, with no bond, facing a homicide count would be unnerving for anybody.”
Sheets also hints about trying to work out a plea bargain deal for Middlebrooks.
“I think we can work with the district attorney’s office and the families in this matter to come to a resolution that provides closure for everyone,” he said.
Sheets says they’re going to try to get Middlebrooks out on bond. That’s highly unusual in a homicide charge, but this is an unusual case.