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Marietta man charged with infant’s murder

Michael Anthony Dawson Jr., 31, of Marietta was arrested Sunday and charged with the murder of his 2-month-old son, Gannon.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said during a press conference Monday afternoon that deputies responded to a 911 call at Dawson’s home at 101 Longacre St., that an infant wasn’t breathing. Gannon was rushed to Marietta Memorial Hospital and was later flown to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus for treatment.

“Gannon succumbed to his injuries and he passed away,” Mincks said. “It then became the basis of a homicide investigation.”

While Gannon was at Marietta Memorial, doctors were concerned that the baby’s condition was caused by abuse.

Detectives were advised of bruising around the baby’s chin. After tests were done in Columbus, it was found Gannon had a skull fracture, a healing broken collar bone, 7 or 8 broken or fractured ribs that were in various stages of healing, and new and old hemorrhages that were consistent with being shaken. It was also reported he had liver damage and bruising to his bowels.

Washington County Prosecutor Nicole Coil said Dawson faces 15 years to life in prison if convicted. He was arraigned and remanded to the Washington County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

She said some of the broken bones were 7- to 10-days old, but were healing.

Detectives met with Dawson and the baby’s mother, Megan Wiggins. They were advised that Dawson arrived home around 8 a.m. after working 13 straight days at his job. Wiggins was asleep and Dawson heard Gannon crying. Gannon was reportedly colicky, so Dawson started feeding him.

The baby began vomiting and not breathing well, so Wiggins was awakened and told to call 911.

Mincks said Dawson’s account of what occurred was inconsistent with the baby’s condition.

The sheriff’s office said Dawson advised he wanted them to know he “never did anything to Gannon intentionally or just to be mean to him.”

Dawson allegedly told detectives during questioning that this was “(explicit language) up because he had to deal with this (pointing toward Gannon’s room) and then have to deal with court.” He then reportedly told detectives he didn’t know what else to say, but he never did anything intentionally to hurt his son.

Lt. Bryan Lockhart said there were no charges against the mother at this time.

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