April 30, 2008 in City

Man accused of choking boy

Meghann M. Cuniff Staff writer

As his then-girlfriend rushed the 7-month-old he’s now charged with killing to a hospital last month, court papers say Jereme J. Bassett remained with the woman’s 8-year-old son at the Spokane motel room they were renting.

That boy later told police Bassett slammed him onto a bed and choked him “as hard as he could” after he told the 22-year-old that baby Nevaeh Alana Miller was brain dead, according to court papers, leading to a felony charge of second-degree assault of a child.

In Spokane County Superior Court Tuesday, Bassett pleaded innocent to that charge and to a second-degree murder charge stemming from Nevaeh’s death.

Nevaeh was pronounced dead March 22, two days after she arrived at Sacred Heart Medical Center with injuries doctors said could only have been caused by abuse, according to police. Police say Bassett was caring for Nevaeh while her mother, Jennifer Wilcox, was at work.

Bassett’s plea could change after he undergoes a mental evaluation, said John Hunt Whaley, Bassett’s public defender.

Bassett remains in the Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond.

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