UPDATE: Rockbridge Parents and Grandmother Charged in Infant Dea - WSET.com - ABC13

UPDATE: Rockbridge Parents and Grandmother Charged in Infant Death Go to Trial June 23

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Rockbridge Co., VA - UPDATE: Three people charged in connection to the death of a seven month old Rockbridge County baby will go on trial in June. 

Jake Slagle's parents, William Slagle and Heather Ruley and his grandmother, Patricia Ruley, each face five felony charges.
   
According to investigators, the baby died last August from unexpected infant death, associated with an unsafe sleep environment.

The first deputy on scene testified the house was infested with fleas and cockroaches.
   
All three will go on trial together on June 23. The trial is set to last three days.




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A preliminary hearing was held, Monday, for a Rockbridge mother, father and maternal grandmother charged in the death of an infant.


Investigators said 7-month-old Jake Slagle died from unexpected infant death -- associated with an unsafe sleep environment.

Jake Slagle's parents, William Slagle and Heather Ruley... as well as the maternal grandmother, Patricia Ruley, face five felonies each in this case.

In court today, Slagle and Patricia Ruley watched emotionless as investigators testified. Heather Ruley, however, Jake's mom, had her head in her hands and sobbed the entire time.

The deputy who arrived first on the scene that day testified that when he drove up to the house, he found Heather Ruley in the driveway kneeling over Jake. He says the infants eyes were rolled back and his lips were blue. He says Heather Ruley told him Jake seemed tired and fussy that morning so she put him to bed. When she later tried to wake him, he was unresponsive.

Shortly after -- medics arrived and rushed Jake to the hospital -- where he died. The deputy says when he entered the house he had to refrain from gagging because of a nauseating stench inside that he said smelled like 'the bottom of a dumpster'.

He says the floor was not visible because it was covered in debris, feces, and soiled diapers. He says swarms of cockroaches were all over the house----including inside Jake's bassinet.

One investigator testified that Heather Ruley told him she suffers from depression and although she tried many times to clean the house she was ‘just in way over her head’. Child Protective Services removed Ruley's three other children from the house that day and placed them with a relative.

Patricia Ruley told investigators that her house got like that after her daughter and Slagle moved in. She says she wanted to call Social Services many times but didn't want to get her daughter in trouble
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