Man charged in infant son's death

Christopher Dornblaser
  • York City Police say Jonathan Colby Thompson, 31, caused the injuries that led to his son's death.
  • Thompson was arrested Thursday in Baltimore and is awaiting extradition back to Pennsylvania.

A Maryland man is accused of causing the death of his infant son in York City last year, according to charging documents filed Wednesday.

Jonathan Colby Thompson, 31, of 3205 Walnut Ave., Owings Mills, faces charges of homicide and endangering child welfare, court documents state. The U.S. Marshals Service said in a news release that Thompson was arrested without incident Thursday morning in Baltimore and is awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.

York City Police say Thompson caused the injuries that led to his 2-month-old son's death last year.

Child's death: According to police, the child's mother, Allison Barnhart, 31, had returned to work less than two months after the infant was born, and on May 16, Thompson was tasked with with taking care of the child while Barnhart went to work.

On May 19, Thompson told Barnhart that the child had fallen off their bed on the second floor of their home in the 400 block of Juniper Street, documents state. Thompson noticed that the child had decreased activity and was vomiting after the fall, according to police.

The child, who is only referred to as "J.T." in charging documents, was taken to York Hospital on May 20 and was discharged that day and given medication, court documents said. "Wodie" was the child's nickname, according to police.

Four days later, the child was taken back to the hospital for a follow-up, and the parents noted that the child had stopped vomiting but was less energetic and was eating less, police said.

Concerns: About noon the next day, the child was again in Thompson's care, documents state. Police say Thompson texted Barnhart, saying "Wodie is not moving" and "help, help, help."

Thompson was feeding the child when the child went unresponsive, police said. He placed the child in the second-floor bathtub and ran the water, and police say Thompson did not see any increase in responsiveness to the child.

Barnhart arrived on the scene and performed CPR on the child until responders arrived.

Speaking with police, Barnhart later reported that her child was fussier than a normal baby and would cry a lot. She told police she had been concerned "several" times over how Thompson would handle the child in an aggressive manner, court records state.

Witnesses told police that Thompson was seen holding the child upside down, picking up the child by one arm and holding the child by his shirt, police said.

"Jonathan Thompson would aggressively rock J.T. in his car seat, and Jonathan Thompson threw J.T. onto the living room couch on at least one occasion," documents state.

Barnhart told police she told Thompson on at least one occasion of her concerns about leaving the infant in his care, according to police.

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Injuries: On May 26, a doctor at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where the child was sent, said the child had multiple rib fractures, cerebral hematoma, seizures, anemia and possible retinal hematomas behind both eyes, but there was no observed visible bruising to the child's body, documents state.

The infant was still unconscious and on a ventilator for support.

The child was declared dead on June 10, and an autopsy was completed on June 14.

Police say the child's cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries, with the manner homicide.

In July, Thompson spoke with police, and he told them the day of the incident the child started to choke on formula, and Thompson threw the child onto a couch in the living room a "little too hard," from a standing position, according to charging documents. Thompson described the couch cushions as "not so thick," police allege.

According to a release from the U.S. Marshals Service, Thompson was arrested at 11 a.m. Thursday in the 5400 block of Reistertown Road, Baltimore.

It is unclear if he has an attorney.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.