Shaken Baby Dies

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After several days at Denver Children's Hospital, 7-week-old Nicolette Klinker died Tuesday night. Her father, 21-year-old Jonathan Klinker, a Fort Carson soldier, remains in jail charged with child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury. The El Paso County District Attorney's Office is now looking at the case as a homicide. According a police affidavit, on Friday, Klinker and Nicolette were asleep on the couch when he awoke to find her face bruised. Instead getting her medical attention, Klinker took the baby and her mother to Trinidad to visit relatives. Klinker told police before he fell asleep he had taken 2 Percocets. That night they checked Nicolette into a Trinidad hospital. Police say she was treated for severe bruising, retinal hemorrhaging and seizures. The next day Nicolette was transported to Denver Children's Hospital where doctors concluded the baby's injuries were consistent with child abuse. At Children's, Klinker told police he'd shaken Nicolette 4 or 5 times after which she didn't respond. He said he tried to wake her up by spinning her in circles, turning her upside down and sitting her down, letting her head and back hit the floor. The report says Klinker told police, that is when he knew he had hurt Nicolette. An autopsy is set for Thursday morning. It will show if Nicolette was injured knowingly or recklessly which the D.A.'s office says will make a major difference in how Klinker is charged.