LIMA — Gabriel Salyers, charged with aggravated murder for the April death of an 18-month-old boy at a Lima residence, entered pleas of not guilty Thursday to all seven counts against him.
Salyers made his initial appearance in Allen County Common Pleas Court with his attorney, John Fisher, for an arraignment hearing.
A recent session of the Allen County grand jury returned an indictment against Salyers charging him with aggravated murder and murder, both unclassified felonies; three counts of endangering children, felonies of the second degree; and single counts of domestic violence with a prior domestic violence conviction, a fourth-degree felony, and possession of drugs, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Salyers, 31, was arrested by local law enforcement authorities for his alleged role in the death of 18-month-old Jaxxon Sullivan. According to court documents, police responded April 1 of this year to 826 Oak St. in response to the report of an unresponsive toddler. The infant was transported to Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center due to several reported injuries and was later transferred to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo in critical condition and died less than two days later.
The subsequent investigation led detectives to arrest Salyers — reportedly the live-in boyfriend of the toddler’s mother, Shelly Overly Wireman — and charge him with murder.
Salyers appeared in Lima Municipal Court on April 4 via video-conferencing for a preliminary hearing in the case. Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Juergen Waldick at that time requested Salyers’ bond be set at $2.5 million, telling the judge the suspect poses a substantial flight risk because he faces a maximum penalty if convicted of life in prison. The judge agreed.
Asked by Municipal Court Judge Tammie Hursh if he had anything to say, Salyers replied, “I didn’t do it.”
The suspect will next appear in common pleas court for a pre-trial hearing on June 11.