SALT LAKE CITY — A warrant has been issued for a Holladay man who disappeared after pleading guilty to becoming angry and further injuring his 4-month-old daughter when a heater fell on her and burned her.
Elijah Malykeshabazz Jodejuan, who turns 25 this week, was set to be sentenced Monday for one count of third-degree felony child abuse. When Jodejuan didn't show up for the hearing, a $100,000 warrant issued for his arrest Friday was ordered to remain in place, according to court records.
Jodejuan pleaded guilty to the charge, reduced from a second-degree felony, as part of a deal with prosecutors on May 9. An additional second-degree felony count was dismissed.
Jodejuan, who was granted supervised release in March, has not checked in with authorities since June 7, according to the warrant.
Prosecutors had agreed to recommend that the charge against Jodejuan be stepped down to a misdemeanor if he successfully completed probation.
Jodejuan was caring for the girl on Nov. 4 and set her in a carrier in front of a space heater while he took a shower, according to police. The child apparently grabbed a power cord and pulled the heater on top of herself. When Jodejuan got out of the shower, he found "the heater was stuck" to the young girl who was "screaming like bloody murder," charges state.
Jodejuan said he became "frustrated" by the burns and pushed a bottle into his daughter's mouth "pretty hard" while trying to feed her.
Jodejuan began texting the baby's mother, who was at work, saying that "everything would turn out all right with the baby," charges state. He then locked himself in a bedroom with the crying infant when the mother arrived at home, according to the charges.
When the woman finally got into the room, the baby was in a closet, charges state.
Doctors found a "patterned grid burn mark" on her forehead, in addition to other bruises and injuries, including injuries to the inside of her mouth, the charges state.
Jodejuan told police he becomes "detached" and doesn't respond right away to the baby's crying, even though he knows she can get hurt during that time. Jodejuan said he "feels like a complete idiot" for letting it happen more than once.