Court to decide if father stands trial for son’s death
Friday, April 18—A preliminary hearing is scheduled today for the biological father of a Ramona boy who suffered serious brain injuries as an infant and died as a blind and bedridden 6-year-old.
Today’s hearing will determine whether Billy Joe Springfield should stand trial for murder in the death of Samuel Dahlke. The child died at his adoptive family’s home in Ramona in November 2011.
An autopsy determined Samuel died from the aftereffects of a head injury he suffered when he was about 6 weeks old, authorities said.
Springfield was convicted of child abuse in 2006. The then-23-year-old defendant was sentenced to four years probation.
Authorities said Samuel was violently shaken while living with his father in an apartment in San Diego’s Golden Hill neighborhood. The child’s name was changed to Dahlke following his adoption.
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