LAGRANGE, Ind. (WHBF) — An Eldridge, Iowa, man accused in the death of a 4-year-old boy in Indiana has pleaded guilty to a charge of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level 1 felony.
Dylan Andrew Diericx will be formally sentenced on June 24 in LaGrange County Court, according to his bail bond agent, on Monday night.
The bail bond agent, who asked that her name not be used, said the prosecutor and the defense attorney agreed Monday to 32 years for the charge, which carries the possibility of a 40-year sentence.
Diericx, who has been out on bond since last year, continues to work as a truck driver, the agent said.
“My job is to keep track of him while he’s free,” the agent said. “He contacts me every single day.” A Level 1 felony ‘is the highest felony you can get,” she said.
The incident and charges
Our sister station, WANE reported last year the LaGrange County Prosecutor’s Office filed preliminary charges against Diericx, alleging one count of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, a Level 1 felony.
It was Aug. 19, 2021, when Shipshewana Police were called to 345 Van Buren St. for a young boy unresponsive and in critical condition. He was taken by helicopter to a Fort Wayne hospital, where he ultimately died.
The prosecutor’s office released a brief statement on the arrest. According to a probable cause affidavit, the boy was the son of Diericx’s girlfriend, and Diericx said they were engaged in “horse-play” in the cab of a semi when the child was injured.
Diericx told investigators that he had tossed the boy on the bunk in the sleeper of his semi, and the child hit his head on a “fixed object,” the affidavit said. The boy then began convulsing and went unconscious, Diericx said, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, the boy’s injuries were not consistent with that explanation. The child suffered “fractures to his clavicle and shoulder blade, bruises and abrasions on the right and left side of his face, bruises on his forehead, laceration and blunt force trauma to the back of the head, bruises to genitalia, injury and bleeding from the victim’s anus, cuts to his arm, a busted lip and burns around his mouth and on various parts of his body,” the affidavit said.
A Level 1 felony in Indiana is typically punishable by 20 to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.