Dover airman charged in child's death

February 19, 2014

A 25-year-old airman has been charged in connection with the death of a 21-month-old boy who died in 2012 while living with the man's family in Dover Air Force Base Housing.

Justin K. Corbett of Dover faces charges of murder by abuse or neglect that recklessly caused the death of a child. He was committed to Vaughn Correctional Center in default of $100,000 cash bond.

Evan J. Dudley was living with Corbett and his family while the boy's mother was deployed abroad, said Sgt. Paul Shavack of the Delaware State Police.

On Nov. 3, 2012, Corbett called 911 from his airbase home in the 1000 block of Avocado Avenue to report Evan was unresponsive after falling down eight carpeted stairs, Shavack said.

Evan was initially taken to Kent General Hospital and later transported to A.I. duPont Hospital for Children where he was admitted in critical condition with head trauma and multiple contusions to his body, Shavack said.

Evan died Nov. 7, 2012; an autopsy by the Delaware Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined Evan suffered from retinal and other eye injuries, multiple contusions to his head, and swelling and bleeding of the head. The cause of death was ruled homicide by blunt force trauma.

The case was submitted for review by a child abuse expert and a pediatric pathologist after undisclosed, unique injuries were discovered during the autopsy, Shavack said.

On Feb. 18, more than a year after Evan's death, police and agents with the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations arrested Corbett at a home in the first block of Hickory Lane in Dover Force Air Base Housing.

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