Bond $1M for man charged with murder in 1-year-old boy’s death in Dayton

Mother says she would not have trusted roommate of child’s father to babysit.

The mother of a 16-month-old boy killed in December said she never would have trusted the man charged in her son’s death to babysit her young children.

Nathaniel Levi Schmidt, 24, was arraigned Tuesday in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court for murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and two counts of endangering children, all felony charges.

He is accused of fatally injuring Ryder Thomas Williams on Dec. 12, 2022. The toddler died a few days later on Dec. 17 at Dayton Children’s Hospital. “The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma,” said Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Greg Flanagan.

“I feel relieved justice is finally coming for me,” said Ryder’s mother, Chelcie Beerey, of Schmidt’s indictment.

Beerey of West Milton said Ryder and his three siblings — sisters ages 5 and 3, and his 2-year-old brother — were staying with their father in Dayton. Her kids’ dad had been good friends with Schmidt since high school and they shared an apartment.

Schmidt was babysitting the four children when police and medics were called around 4:40 p.m. Dec. 12 to the 30 block of North Hedges Street on a report of a child not breathing. Schmidt called the children’s father, who called 911 on his way home.

“He’s just someone I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving my kids with alone,” said Beerey.

While Beerey said she did not have a specific reason for her unease, Beerey said she also had been good friends with Schmidt since school and knew that he had used drugs and did not have custody of his own child.

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

Credit: Montgomery County Jail

During the Dayton police investigation into Ryder’s death, detectives reported they found sexually explicit images of a young girl on Schmidt’s cellphone.

He was indicted Feb. 10 by a Montgomery County grand jury for gross sexual imposition of a victim younger than 13 and pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor. That case involves a 3-year-old girl known to him, Flanagan said last month. Beerey said the images were of her daughter.

Attorney Lucas Wilder was appointed to represent Schmidt in the murder case.

He also is representing Schmidt in the first case, for which a motion to suppress evidence and statements is pending with a hearing scheduled for April 17, court records show.

“Until I have received and reviewed the discovery on the new case it is unknown what effect, if any, there will be on the other pending charges,” Wilder wrote in an earlier email.

During Schmidt’s arraignment, a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf and his bond was set at $1 million. He remains held in the Montgomery County Jail.

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