Mon. Sep 26th, 2022

Jurors found an Indiana man guilty on multiple charges in connection with the death of a 4-year-old boy last year.

The trial for Robert Geise ended Friday with a guilty verdict on three counts: neglect of a dependent resulting in catastrophic injury, neglect of a dependent resulting in injury and possession of methamphetamine.

He was found not guilty on charges of aggravated battery and possession of a device or substance used to interfere with a drug or alcohol screening.

The charges stem from a September 21, 2021, incident resulting in the death of 4-year-old Sylas Felix-Glass, the son of Geise’s girlfriend.

Dispatchers received a 911 call that Sylas had fallen from an outdoor playset and was unresponsive. The boy was transported to an area hospital and pronounced dead less than an hour after the initial 911 call.

The coroner’s office ruled his death a homicide due to “blunt force injuries to the head and abdomen.”

According to court documents, Geise initially told investigators he was watching the boy because the 4-year-old’s mother had a dentist appointment. He described seeing Sylas climbing up a ladder on a playset and falling down.

Geise took Sylas inside and gave the boy some water, he told investigators. Then he noticed bruises forming on the side of his head and face. The boy also complained about being hot, prompting Geise to put him in the shower to splash some cold water on him.

The boy then became unresponsive, according to his account, and Geise called 911. He tried to do chest compressions in an attempt to revive him before first responders arrived.

Sylas’ mother told police she didn’t recall her son having any marks on his body other than a small bump on his head from when he’d run into a table and a small bruise on his back. The boy’s father told investigators he didn’t notice any “unusual marks or bruising” when Sylas visited him the previous weekend. He later said during a follow-up interview that he saw bruises on Sylas’ leg and right side of his forehead.

According to court documents, Sylas had bruises on his forehead and left eye and a backwards, L-shaped bruise on the side of his head near his left eye. Other injuries included bruises to his left shoulder, multiple bruises on his chest and ribs and small bruises on his arms, legs, back and pelvic area. Abrasions were also visible on the right side of his body and the stomach area, according to court documents.

The autopsy found multiple injuries, including contusions, discolored skin (ecchymosis), a left subdural hemorrhage with cerebral edema and a subscalp and subgaleal hemorrhage, among other injuries.

In the autopsy report, the doctor wrote that the “extensiveness of the injuries noted at autopsy, including the abdominal injury, do no support the narrative of an accidental swing set fall alone.”

The drug-related charges stemmed from a November 1, 2021, search in which deputies found methamphetamine and a “device utilized to defeat urine drug tests.” Geise said the drug screenings were a requirement from a previous operating while intoxicated conviction in Henry County. Geise was arrested after the search; formal charges were filed on November 2.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for September 19.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born |