INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis man will spend more than two decades behind bars for severely injuring his 10-month-old son.
Michael Chatman, 55, will spend 24 years in prison, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said Tuesday.
A jury in March convicted Chatman on two counts of battery. He later pleaded guilty to a habitual offender sentencing enhancement.
On Jan. 13, 2021, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department was called to Chatman’s home on North Meridian Street near 38th Street.
Officers arrived and found Chatman’s infant son with serious injuries. The child was rushed to Riley Hospital for Children in critical condition.
The boy arrived at the emergency room in shock and was suffering from hypoxic brain injury, which is caused by a restricted flow of oxygen to the brain.
Police and doctors asked Chatman if he could explain his son’s present condition, and he could not.
During their examination of the infant, doctors found multiple soft tissue injuries, peeling burns on his face and an armpit, and swelling caused by excess fluid on one of his legs that required surgery. Doctors determined the injuries were consistent with “nonaccidental trauma” in the form of child abuse.
After the injuries to his son were discovered, Chatman told police he had lied about several things in his original version of events, including the time at which things happened and how he described his son’s behavior prior to the incident. Chatman also admitted that when he initially realized something was wrong with his son, he failed to call 911 right away.
Prosecutor Ryan Mears credited IMPD, the Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, and the team of doctors at Riley with saving the child’s life.
“This young child experienced unspeakable tragedy when his life was merely beginning. The quick actions of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, and Riley Hospital for Children that saved this infant’s life and are the reason he is still with us today,” Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in a statement.