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Batavia man charged in baby’s death dies

BATAVIA – The Batavia man charged with the death of a 6-month-old boy died late Monday following a suicide attempt Dec. 21 that left him brain dead, city police reported.

Jeffrey L. Deats, 28, of Olyn Avenue, had pleaded not guilty Dec. 17 to second-degree manslaughter in the Dec. 14 death of Chandler Zuch. But with Deats’ death, the case against him is closed, Batavia Police Chief Shawn Heubusch said Wednesday.

Deats, who was not the boy’s father, was found in the Genesee County Jail hanging by a bed sheet in an apparent suicide attempt, police said.

Police said the mother of the baby left him in Deats’ care on the morning of Dec. 13. Emergency medical crews and Batavia firefighters were called to the Olyn Avenue home at about 9:45 a.m. the next day, after Deats and another family member reported that the child was not breathing.

The boy was pronounced dead at 11:20 a.m. Dec. 14 in United Memorial Medical Center. An autopsy the next day showed the boy suffered multiple injuries to his brain, causing death.