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Court hearing postponed for Lynn man accused of beating baby

Anthony Gideika was arraigned earlier this month in Lynn District Court.

Owen O’Rourke / The Daily Item

Anthony Gideika was arraigned earlier this month in Lynn District Court.

LYNN — Thursday’s scheduled court hearing for Anthony Gideika, the Lynn man accused of fatally beating his girlfriend’s baby boy, was postponed until Aug. 12.

Gideika, 33, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting 3-month-old Chase Gideika, who died July 8 of massive head injuries. He is being held on $100,000 bail.

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The medical examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy of the infant, who sustained a skull fracture and internal bleeding. Prosecutors have said they could upgrade the charges against Gideika to murder once the office establishes a formal cause of death.

The medical examiner’s office did not say when the autopsy would be completed.

Gideika’s lawyer could not be reached for comment Thursday.

According to police, Gideika had been upset after learning that Chase and his twin brother were not his biological children. The brother was unharmed and was taken into protective custody.

The state’s child welfare agency, the Department of Children and Families, had allowed the twins to remain in the Lynn home of Gideika and the boys’ mother, Jennifer Nelson, after learning that they were born with drugs in their systems and expressing concern about whether Gideika and Nelson could properly care for them.

In June 2012, DCF removed a 2-year-old boy from the home after he was found wandering the streets unattended.

The Patrick administration has called for the Office of the Child Advocate to investigate the agency’s decision to leave the twins in the home, and DCF is conducting its own review.

DCF has said that the couple had been in treatment programs and were receiving parenting services at the time of Chase’s death. A state social worker had been visiting monthly and had last been at the home June 7.

Department officials have declined to discuss the case further, citing the ongoing criminal investigation and policies that limit public disclosure of individual cases. They have declined to discuss the policies that govern when a child is removed from a home and have not said how many children are taken into custody each year.

Peter Schworm can be reached at schworm@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globepete.
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