Infant death case won’t go to trial until summer

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Pathologist needs more time to review autopsy findings

By Vince Luecke

TELL CITY – The trial of a Tell City woman charged with the 2005 death of 7-month-old Izaak Harney has been delayed until at least July.

Special Judge William Weikert agreed this month to delay Heather D. Sandage’s trial, which had been scheduled to begin Dec. 15. The Tell City woman is charged with a Class A felony charge of battery resulting in death. She remains free on bail.

Deputy Perry County Prosecutor Jim Tyler filed the motion to delay the trial, citing the need for the state’s pathologist to review evidence, including microscopic slides, from an autopsy at an Indianapolis hospital performed after the child’s death.

The court in September ordered the Marion County Coroner’s Office to provide the slides for testing.

As The News previously reported, police said Sandage was babysitting Harney inside her home at 1014 14th St. She called police the afternoon of Oct. 11, 2005, and reported the child was having trouble breathing.

The infant, whose parents lived in rural Evanston in Spencer County, was taken to Perry County Memorial Hospital but later flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville. From Evansville, Harney was rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianap-olis. He died the following day.

Doctors in Indianapolis told police the infant’s brain appeared swollen. Physicians also reported bleeding around Harney’s brain. Preliminary results of the autopsy allegedly uncovered severe bleeding in and around the brain and indicated the child died from blunt-force trauma to the head. The death was ruled a homicide.

Sandage was questioned but was not charged until 2006.