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A Piscataquis County man pleaded not guilty Monday to murder in connection with the death of his 1-month-old son in August 2021.
Reginald Melvin, 28, of Milo was charged with depraved indifference murder after the state medical examiner ruled Sylus Melvin’s death a homicide. Reginald Melvin has a history of domestic violence assault. Court documents that were unsealed in late January said that the infant who died at his Milo home had been beaten to the point that he had several fractured bones and cuts on his organs.
The infant is one of four Maine Children allegedly killed by a parent in 2021, which led to increased scrutiny of the state’s embattled child welfare system.
A Penobscot County grand jury indicted Melvin in January.
Melvin appeared before Justice Nancy Mill for his arraignment Monday afternoon remotely from the Piscataquis County Jail in Dover-Foxcroft.
Melvin’s bail remained as it was first set in August 2021: $250,000 cash or $500,000 in property. Jeffrey Toothaker, who represents Melvin, said he would not be able to post bail.
Some of the conditions imposed on Melvin included that he have no possession of alcohol, marijiana products or illegal drugs. He also was barred from making contact with Desiree Newbert, who is Sylus’ mother, and children under the age of 10, Mills said.
Sylus, who was born July 28, 2021, and was killed Aug. 29, 2021, died from blunt force trauma on several parts of his body, fractured bones, laceration of organs and hemorrhaging of the head and abdomen, according to the state medical examiner’s office.
A dispositional conference, which is not a trial, was scheduled for May 16. The dispositional conference is a chance for the defendant and his lawyer to meet with the prosecutor to talk about the case and see if it can be resolved by agreement.
“This thing is going to trial, I can tell you that,” Toothaker said, adding that he asked for money for an evaluation of Melvin. The results of the evaluation may be used as evidence during a trial.