Bail set for dad in baby's death; Family, friends show support for him in court

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Date: 2004-03-20
Source: Star Tribune

Bail set for dad in baby's death, Family, friends show support for him in court
Author: Paul Gustafson

Family and friends of a St. Paul father charged in the death of his infant son showed support for him Friday by filling the front row of a courtroom where he appeared, and afterward working to bail him out of jail.

Prosecutors wanted bail set at $250,000 for Steven D. Showcatally, who is charged with unintentional second-degree murder. But in arguing for a lower bail, Showcatally's attorney said that the decorated Gulf War veteran with no criminal record poses no danger to anyone else.

Rather, Showcatally is devastated by his son's death and in desperate need of psychological help and the support his family and friends are waiting to give him, attorney Frederick Goetz said.

Ramsey County District Judge Steven Wheeler ultimately set bail at $150,000. After the court hearing, Showcatally's family and friends talked with bail bondsmen hoping to arrange for his release.

Showcatally, 34, is scheduled to appear in court again on April 16.

``The loss of his child is devastating to this young man, and whether he is criminally liable or not, he's completely torn apart,'' Goetz said after the court hearing.

Showcatally is accused of losing patience while caring Tuesday for his 6-month-old son, Gustavo Hunt, and deliberately dropping him in a bathtub.

The father took his son to St. Paul Children's Hospital, where he died about three hours later. Doctors determined that the boy suffered multiple skull fractures and multiple hemorrhages beneath his scalp.

Showcatally initially told police that he accidentally dropped the boy in the bathtub and then carried him into a bedroom and did not notice anything unusual, according to a criminal complaint.

After police challenged his story due to the severity of his son's injuries, the father said that he intentionally dropped the boy two more times and that he was responsible for the injuries, the complaint states.

Showcatally and his wife, Gail Hunt, adopted the Guatemalan boy in November after waiting to adopt a child for four years. Showcatally and Hunt have lived together for a number of years and got married in January.

Goetz said Showcatally served in the U.S. Air Force from 1987 to 1991 and received an honorable discharge after serving in the Gulf War. He has been employed by IBM for eight years and had planned on receiving a college degree this spring, the attorney said.

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