Court affirms NW Indiana man’s convictions in baby’s death

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a Michigan City man’s convictions for fatally shaking his two-month-old son in 2019 and plotting to kill his wife as he awaited trial in jail.

In his appeal, Brandon Bottom, 27, argued that a LaPorte County judge erred by not providing public funds to hire an expert witness He also claimed there was insufficient evidence to support his convictions.

The appeals court disagreed in a 3-0  decision written by Senior Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Friedlander said in the Aug. 13 ruling that Bottom did not adequately demonstrate the need to hire an expert witness at public expense, since there was no evidence specifying precisely how an expert would aid Bottom’s defense. He also wrote that Bottom’s attorney had acknowledged the purpose of the proposed expert merely was exploratory.

Bottom was found guilty last year by a LaPorte County jury of aggravated battery resulting in the death of a child under 14, for the February 2019 shaking death of his infant son.

He was also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder after two jailhouse informants testified that he told them he was angry at his wife and wanted to kill her. One informant said Bottom gave him a note directing Bottom’s mother to pay the man $7,000 to kill his wife, according to court records.

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