Sleyster reportedly said to the investigator that he already told the child’s mother, “I’m the one at fault for this cuz it happened on my care.”

    A Staples, Minnesota man was arrested in Crookston for second-degree unintentional murder of a three-month-old infant after authorities allege he could have caused catastrophic injury leading to the baby’s death in early December. Presley Arron Sleyster, 20, could face 40 years in prison if convicted.

    According to court documents, on December 5, a deputy with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office was advised of a medical situation in rural Staples and dispatch informed the deputy that a three-month-old had a seizure and was having difficulty breathing. When the deputy arrived at the residence, they found Sleyster on the front steps who said the child was not breathing.

    Inside the residence, a female was tending to the infant and another female was on the phone with the ambulance. The females said the infant’s breathing was shallow, about every five seconds or so. Law enforcement then coordinated with the ambulance for a helicopter to transport the infant to a hospital in St. Cloud. The child was later transported to the Children’s Hospital.

    On December 7 at 12:25 p.m., a doctor declared the official brain death of the child and noted he was deceased. The doctor also told the family that the infant had head trauma from a physical injury or skull fractures, said the complaint.

    On December 10, an investigator observed the autopsy of the child and ruled the case a homicide with the manner of death being blunt force homicidal violence. The autopsy showed a bruise behind the right ear and a fracture 10 centimeters long on the right side of the child’s skull.

    In a December 6 statement, Sleyster said he was married to the child’s mother and considers the child to be his son even though he’s not the biological father. (Sleyster and the child’s mother were married November 15, 2018 after an on/off relationship over three years) Sleyster also told officers that he was the child’s primary caregiver when the mother is at work.

    On the day in question, Sleyster told authorities that the child woke up screaming, he gave him a bottle and was still screaming before going “stiff as a board.” Sleyster said he knew something was wrong so he called 911. Sleyster allegedly denied that the child fell, was dropped or was struck.

    On December 12, investigators spoke again with Sleyster and, ultimately, Sleyster indicated that he may have accidentally hit the child’s head on the plastic part of his swing. Investigators explained that would not have caused catastrophic injury and Sleyster later said it was possible the child’s head could have hit something when he was running up the stairs with him possibly “on the railing or door frame” at the top of the stairs.

    Sleyster also explained that the child could have hit his head on the night stand next to the bed when he reached for the bottle.

    Sleyster reportedly said to the investigator that he already told the child’s mother, “I’m the one at fault for this cuz it happened on my care.”