PIERRE, S.D. — A 29-year-old Pierre man is now is facing a murder charge after the 2-month-old infant he was accused of assaulting July 13 in his home died in the hospital on Friday, July 19, according to Pierre police.
Derek Berman remains in the Hughes County Jail where he’s been held since July 13; his bond was set at $20,000 a week ago.
Berman was arrested at his home about 11 a.m., Saturday, July 13. Police had received a report on July 12 that an infant at that home had “received serious, life-threatening injuries consistent with that of abuse,” according to a news release a week ago from Police Capt. Bryan Walz. “Detectives were able to determine the injuries were caused by Derek Berman and subsequently made the arrest.”
The charges Berman initially faced included aggravated assault on an infant,which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. He was slated last week for arraignment on the assault and battery charges — when he could formally enter a plea — for Aug. 20.
Police said Monday that Berman now would be charged with second-degree murder, which carries a top penalty of life in prison.