Man charged in death of newborn

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA A single man so eager for a family he paid a surrogate mother $30,000 to bear his child was charged Wednesday with beating his 5-week-old son to death.

James Alan Austin told police he beat the boy with his fists and a plastic coat hanger, authorities said.

The 26-year-old bank analyst from the Bethlehem area was arraigned on charges of criminal homicide in the death of Jonathan Alan Austin. Bail was set at $500,000.

Jonathan was born Dec. 8 to Phyllis Ann Huddleston, 29, of Lafayette, Ind., who had been paid to be artificially inseminated with Austin's sperm.

The boy died Tuesday at a Philadelphia hospital, more than a week after he was taken to a hospital in the Bethlehem area, unconscious with a fractured skull and internal bleeding.

It was unclear why Austin beat the child and authorities would not say if he gave them a motive.

Neighbors and others said Austin had seemed anxious to become a father.

Austin, an only child whose father died at an early age, lived with his mother until she died of cancer in 1993, said his lawyer, John Waldron.

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