Toddler Dies, Man Charged With Murder
by Laura Monteverdi, Reporter
March 15, 2013 5:08 PM
On Wednesday afternoon, Watertown Police received a 911 call to a home on the southeast block of 8th Avenue in Watertown.
“At 4:42 P.M. Watertown Ambulance and Police personnel were dispatched to a report of an unconscious child,” said Detective Nic Ahmann, of the Watertown Police Department.
The unconscious child was 14-month-old Serenity Seaboy, the daughter of 30-year-old Sherry Scherer. Serenity was immediately transported to the nearest hospital.
The child was taken to Prairie Lakes Hospital with head trauma and then airlifted to Sioux Falls in critical condition.
“Mr. Jay Barse was person of interest and he was arrested at the police department after questioning,” explained Ahmann.
Watertown Police said 25-year-old Barse was a live-in boyfriend of the toddler’s mother, however they are unsure as to whether the mother was home at the time of the incident.
Police originally arrested Barse on charges of aggravated assault after voluntarily being questioned by police. But that charge was soon changed to second-degree murder, when Serenity was pronounced dead early Friday morning.
“At this point the investigation is ongoing, but what's important is the person that is responsible for Serenity’s death is in custody,” said Ahmann.
Barse is being held at Codington County Detention Center in Watertown on a $50,000 bond. His first court appearance will be held Tuesday, March 19th at 10:30 A.M.
Second-Degree Murder of a Child Under 3-years-old is a Class B Felony and punishable by life in prison and a $50,000 fine.