Miller posts bond, Olea still held on $250,000 in murder of Newton baby
The Newton man charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 10 death of his 6-month-old son was denied bond reduction during a preliminary hearing this morning in Jasper County District Court.
A spokesman from the Jasper County Jail said today that 24-year-old Joseph Edward Albert Olea is still being held on a $250,000 bond.
The child's mother, 24-year-old Chelsea Jo Miller, has been released from the Jasper County Jail this afternoon on a $10,000 bond. Police claim Miller had previous knowledge of her boyfriend's violent tendencies and permitted him to be the sole caregiver of the infant. She petitioned the court to lower the bond amount today, but her request was denied.
The Newton Police Department began investigating Olea and Miller after they responded to a call of suspected child abuse on Jan. 10. The 6-month-old was transported to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines where he later died of injuries to the head and neck. Police said that Olea was the sole caregiver of his son from 6 a.m. until the time of the hospital transport.
In a statement issued last week by Lt. Wes Breckenridge, NPD investigators said, "Mr. Olea intentionally used unreasonable force on his son, K.O. that resulted in his death." The State Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death to be blunt force injuries of the head and neck and ruled the manner of death a homicide.
Trials have been set in each case, with Olea scheduled to see court on Oct. 24 and Miller on Oct. 31. The Newton couple were officially arraigned at a 9:30 a.m. hearing today. Olea is facing two counts of child endangerment resulting in death (class B felonies) in addition to first-degree murder. Miller faces a single count of child endangerment resulting in death.
Court records also filed today indicate that Miller's public defender, Michael H. Adams, has stepped down and she will now be represented by Andrea M. Flanagan of Sporer & Flanagan, P.L.L.C., Des Moines. In the motion for bond reduction, Flanagan stated that her client "has a family to support" and is employed, which mitigates the danger of flight risk.
Mike Mendenhall can be contacted at (641) 792-3121 ext. 422 or via email at email@example.com.