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Aarin Paul Cratty
Aarin Paul Cratty

A Bismarck man accused of shaking his infant son has been charged with murder in the death of the 3-month-old.

Hank Allen Arden Cratty died on Oct. 10, according to an obituary.

Aarin Cratty, 20, was charged with the Class AA felony on Thursday. A previously filed Class B felony abuse or neglect of a child charge has been dismissed. His bond was increased to $100,000 cash from a bond of $10,000 set when the original child abuse charge was filed.

If convicted, Cratty could face up to life in prison without parole and would be required to register as an offender against children.

According to an affidavit from Bismarck Police Det. Scott Betz, officers Nicole Moritz and Chad Fetzer responded to an apartment on Oct. 6 for a report of an unresponsive child. Cratty told them the boy was not breathing. Metro Ambulance transported the child to St. Alexius Medical Center, where Dr. Patricio Fernandez examined him and determined he had a bleed in his brain and retinal hemorrhages - both of which the doctor said are signs of shaken baby syndrome.

Fernandez, a pediatric cardiologist and neonatologist, believed the baby was brain dead at that time, the affidavit said.

Betz wrote in his affidavit that Cratty said he shook the baby on Oct. 6, and the child's head struck his knee. He said he was frustrated when the baby would not stop crying.

According to a complaint, Cratty was charged under the state's felony murder statute. Under the law, a person can be charged with murder if someone dies during the commission of a felony. Cratty is accused of causing Hank's death while committing felony abuse or neglect of a child.

Hank was the son of Cratty and Lori Lyon, of Bismarck. According to his obituary, he was born on June 21.

(Reach reporter Jenny Michael at 250-8225 or jenny.michael@bismarcktribune.com.)

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