WARREN - A Bazetta man was indicted Monday in the June 15 death of his live-in girlfriend's 4-year-old son.
The special report from a Trumbull County grand jury heads off a preliminary hearing that had been scheduled for Wednesday.
Instead, Scott Henry Walker, 33, who formerly lived on Shaffer Road in Champion, is scheduled to be arraigned later this morning on charges of murder, endangering children and felonious assault.
The indictments against Walker allege that he murdered Charles Nicholas Partin of North Park Avenue Extension during the commission of child endangering and felonious assault.
Walker, who remains in Trumbull County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond, was arrested June 17 in Packard Park in Warren.
An affidavit filed in the case claims Walker fatally punched the youngster in the stomach the night of June 14.
Bazetta police and firefighters were called to the home at 2910 N. Park Extension at 3:15 a.m. June 15 when family members said the boy wasn't breathing.
Partin died later that day at Trumbull Memorial Hospital. The Trumbull County Coroner's Office ruled the death a homicide by blunt force trauma to the abdomen. Bazetta Detective Joe Sofchek said he photographed a tear-shaped bruise on Nicholas' stomach near his belly button.
The boy's mother, Jennifer Light, first told authorities that her son had been treated at a Warren hospital for drinking carpet cleaner. The mother later recanted on that account after Sofchek confirmed the boy had not been treated at a Warren hospital.
Although Walker denied striking Nicholas with a closed fist, he subsequently demonstrated for detectives how he struck the child with a backhanded blow. Sofchek said he noticed a bruised and swollen knuckle on the back of Walker's right hand.