Preliminary hearing for Pence

Garrett Pence

Garrett Pence of Waterloo appeared at the Monroe County Courthouse Wednesday morning before Judge Richard Aguirre for a preliminary hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence in his class X felony charge of aggravated battery involving a child. Pence was arrested in September after his 7-month-old son, Kash, was injured in the home Garrett shared with his wife, Alicia, and their 2-year-old son, Jayden.

Kash sustained brain damage due to subdural and retinal hematomas, or bleeding around his brain and eyes, as well as bruising to his arms, back, face and buttocks, which doctors attributed to “shaken baby syndrome.” The incident occurred Aug. 29.

Waterloo Police Officer Jeff Prosise outlined the case against Pence at today’s hearing, including Pence’s admission he was alone with Kash when the baby’s injuries occurred. Pence, after first denying knowledge of how Kash was injured, said Kash fell off a couch, then that he fell out of a bassinet, according to Prosise.

Pence’s attorney questioned Prosise under cross examination about the whereabouts of Alicia Pence leading up to Kash’s injury. Both Garrett and Alicia Pence told police Alicia was in the couple’s bedroom sleeping with the door locked, as was a usual practice in their home. His attorney also asked if police had spoken with a physician who reportedly told Pence the baby’s injuries could have been caused by a fall from a couch or bassinet; Prosise said Pence never told police the name of the doctor who reportedly said that, and police could not determine who the doctor was.

At the end of the 20-minute hearing, Judge Aguirre determined there are “reasonable grounds to believe the offense was committed by the defendant,” and Pence was given a Jan. 8 date to reappear at the courthouse regarding the charge.

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