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harge against man accused of injuring Bemidji, Minn., infant amended to murder

BEMIDJI, Minn. - The charge against a 31-year-old man here has been amended to second-degree murder without intent after an infant he was caring for in December died from its injuries.

Timothy Kenneth Lundberg of Bemidji allegedly caused fatal injuries to a 7-month-old infant on Dec. 18, when the child was in his care.

Lundberg was arraigned on the new charge Tuesday morning in Beltrami County District Court. Bail was set at $500,000 without conditions and $250,000 with conditions that include he not have contact with his co-defendant, Brenda Kala Hertel, or the victim's family.

Hertel, 22, was charged in January with felony neglect or endangerment of a child.

Lundberg had been charged in January with first-degree assault causing great bodily harm.

The infant, Ayven Jayce Shepard, died Feb. 4, as a result of the injuries he suffered Dec. 18, according to the new criminal complaint.

According to the new criminal complaint, Lundberg on Jan. 24 told Hertel's friend that he had "just snapped" and that he shook Ayven Shepard because he would not stop crying. Lundberg reportedly made the friend promise not to relay the conversation.

The friend provided a statement to law enforcement on Feb. 5, the day after Ayven Shepard died.

The baby's mother, Krysten Shepard, had hired Hertel and Lundberg to care for him and another child. Shepard reported that Ayven was happy and healthy when she left him with the caregivers the morning of Dec. 18. Hertel had been out of the home most of the day, returning shortly before 4 p.m. when the baby had already been injured.

Krysten Shepard received a call at 5:07 p.m. from Hertel saying she couldn't wake the baby. Hertel asked if she should call 911, and the mother told her to do that.

Beltrami County Sheriff's investigators determined that Hertel was aware of the baby's condition at about 4 p.m. Dec. 18, but she did not call law enforcement for more than an hour.

Bethany Wesley is a reporter at The Pioneer in Bemidji, Minn., which is owned by Forum Communications Co.