UPDATE @ 11:46 p.m.: The family of Marley Hennon, an infant police believe was critically injured by his father, is speaking out for the first time since the Ohio Senate passed Destiny's Law, a bill requiring an additional six years behind bars to those convicted of assaulting a child younger than 10.
The bill passed in November by an 84-1 vote, after 11 years in legislature. Named after Destiny Shepherd, the bill was championed by Destiny’s mother Randi after her daughter was thrown against a wall at 16 months. Destiny suffered permanent brain damage, while her attacker was given eight years and released from prison in 2014.
“These men or women aren’t given enough time for what they’ve done and the six years is a good step,” said Marley’s grandmother Eva Silvers.
Marley’s father, Brent William Hennon II, is being held at Miami County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
After weeks on a ventilator, Marley is breathing on his own but still needs a feeding tube.
“They put a shunt in and the shunt is to drain the fluid off of his head into his stomach, something he’ll have for the rest of his life,” Silvers said.
Doctors have not given a time frame for Marley to come home, but his family remains hopeful for his future.
“It’s amazing and I really think the prayers and stuff that we’ve been getting is the majority of his progress,” said Destiney Abbott, Marley’s mother.
UPDATE @ 6:43 p.m. (Dec. 12): Bond for Brent William Hennon II, the 19-year-old Piqua father accused of assaulting his infant son, has been increased to $500,000 cash at the request of the Miami County prosecutor.
Municipal Court Judge Samuel Huffman honored the request, which follows word that Piqua police are working to determine whether Hennon has previously injured the infant or a second son, who is 2 years old.
Infant Marley Hennon is showing signs of improvement but remains in critical condition, according to his grandmother.
“He’s getting stronger, but it’s still going to be a long road,” Eva Silvers said. “I just hope he keeps fighting.”
Swelling around Marley’s head has come down, but doctors said there are still uncertainties about how he’ll progress, Silvers said.
INITIAL REPORT (Nov. 27)
The family of a newborn police said was critically injured by his father says the baby is fighting for his life.
“It’s very touch and go, whether Marley will make it or not,” said Eva Silvers, the baby’s grandmother.
Brent William Hennon II, 19, of Piqua, is charged with felonious assault after officers said the 2-week-old baby suffered “multiple skull fractures as well as fractures of ribs and extremities,” according to a police report.
Marley Hennon was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital, where Silvers said he is in critical condition.
The alleged assault was reported around 4 p.m. Friday in the 200 block of Fourth Street in Piqua, records show.
“At this point, our family is just devastated and trying to get through the emotions,” Silvers said. "At this point we just need prayers ... he has a lot of internal and external injuries.”
Hennon appeared in Miami County Municipal Court on Tuesday, where bond was set at $50,000. Piqua police said other charges are possible.
According to a police report, Hennon told Piqua officers the baby started having trouble breathing and “he said he started patting the baby’s back and he kept patting and he thinks he bruised him pretty bad.”
Hennon denied shaking the baby and said he was fixing a bottle when he discovered the baby not breathing, according to the court documents.
Hennon also told police “he was not abusive and he was not a violent person,” according to the report.
Hospital officials, in the report, told police once Marley was at the hospital, he tested positive for opiates.
Marley’s great-grandmother, Carolyn Preston, said Hennon “always had an anger problem.” She questioned how anyone could hurt a 2-week-old baby.
“I want him to go to prison,” Preston said. “I want him to hurt just like that baby hurts.”
If convicted, Hennon faces two to eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine. He was represented in court by a county public defender.