Man pleads not guilty to murder of northeast Iowa baby

Dean Hettinger

Authorities say child died after receiving 36 rib fractures.

Posted: Jun 17, 2019 1:00 PM

WEST UNION, Iowa – A Fayette County man is pleading not guilty in the death of a four-month-old child.

Dean Alan Hettinger, 23 of Westgate, is charged with 1st degree murder and child endangerment. His trial is scheduled to start on August 7.

Authorities say Hettinger was taking care of Holten Smith when the baby suffered 36 rib fractures and brain injuries. Holten smith was taken to Community Memorial Hospital in Sumner on April 29, 2018, when his guardians reported the child was have seizures. The boy was later transferred to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and died on May 27, 2018.

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