Leola man waives hearing in death of infant son

A Lancaster County man charged in the death of his four-month-old son has waived his preliminary hearing in the case.

Jesus Manuel LaSanta, 27, of Leola, waived the hearing Friday before District Judge Denise Commins, who forwarded the case to county court and scheduled a formal arraignment for April 24.

LaSanta remains in the Lancaster County Prison without bail on charges of criminal homicide and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to the criminal complaint, he admitted to police that he pulled the infant out of a play seat, beat the child against his chest, and violently forced him onto a bed.

Police were called to LaSanta's home January 13 for a report that the baby was choking. When responding officers asked LaSanta if he dropped or shook the baby, he insisted he only tried to save the child by performing CPR, the complaint states.

LaSanta's son, Nazareth, died three days later at a hospital. An autopsy indicated he suffered brain damage and cracked ribs.

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