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Dickinson man to face jury in child abuse case

A Dickinson man charged with felony child abuse or neglect will head to trial in October.

A pretrial conference was Tuesday at the Stark County Courthouse, where Demetrius Gant, 27, was not present.

According to the criminal complaint filed with the Southwest District Court, Gant allegedly shook a 4-month-old child on or about Aug. 21. The child was unconscious and found by medical professionals to have bleeding in the brain and blood behind the eyes.

Gant's attorney, Kevin McCabe, said Tuesday his client works in the oil field, and that he has been trying to get a hold of him but has been unsuccessful.

Judge Zane Anderson said he was uncomfortable with not having the defendant present for the conference.

"This is a serious, Felony A case," Anderson said.

Anderson said to McCabe, "Make sure your client keeps in better contact."

A 12-member jury will be required for the trial, and jury questionnaires will be sent out by mid-September.