Gonzalez child abuse resulting in death case will go to jury trial

FAIRBURY, NE — A Southeast Nebraska man accused of killing a two-year-old boy will go to jury trial on two felony charges.

19-year-old Jake Gonzalez of Fairbury appeared in Jefferson County District Court for his pretrial hearing on Thursday morning. Attorneys on both sides told Judge Vicky Johnson they’re prepared to go to trial as scheduled starting on October 18. The court has two weeks set aside for the trial.

Gonzalez is charged with child abuse resulting in death and terroristic threats. In February, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare check at a Fairbury apartment building. A woman showed deputies to her two-year-old son, who was laying face down in a closet with severe injuries. Police say Gonzalez fled the scene when they arrived. The boy later died at the Omaha Children’s Hospital.

At the time of the incident, Gonzalez was out on bond on assault and weapons charges. In that case, he is accused of shooting a man in Fairbury. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.