Damascus man charged with killing son held without bail Tuesday -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated at 3:40 p.m., Feb. 18, 2014.

Related story: Accused worked for National Security Agency

A Damascus man charged with murder for allegedly killing his 3-year-old son is being held without bail.

Brian Patrick O’Callaghan, 36, of 25230 Conrad Court in Damascus, is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in the death of Hyunsu O’Callaghan, a son he adopted from Korea.

On Feb. 2, detectives from the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division were notified that Hyunsu was at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he was unresponsive and had multiple injuries. Investigators learned that the toddler’s injuries, including trauma to the brain, indicated that the boy was recently beaten. Police said O’Callaghan could not explain why the boy had the injuries.

Hyunsu died of his injuries Feb 3. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Washington performed an autopsy and determined that the toddler’s death was caused by multiple blunt impact injuries, according to police.

During the investigation, O’Callaghan told police he had complete care and custody of Hyunsu on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. On Sunday, O’Callaghan was arrested in connection with the boy’s death.

According to charging documents, Hyunsu had been in the U.S. since October. O’Callaghan told police during an interview that the boy had bonded with his wife, Jennifer, but not with him. In January, he said, his wife went back to work and he stayed home to care for the boy.

According to charging documents detailing an interview with police, O’Callaghan said that on Jan. 31 his son had slipped in the bathtub, fallen backward and hit his shoulder after taking a shower. He told police the boy then went to bed.

The next morning, O’Callaghan took Hyunsu and his 6-year-old biological son out for breakfast and then later to the Germantown Indoor Swim Center, where the older brother took a diving class and Hyunsu played in the park, according to charging documents.

O’Callaghan is then reported as saying he took the boy to lunch, then home for a snack of yogurt and for a nap. He said he changed the boy’s sheets and cleaned his nose when he noticed a pinkish fluid on the sheets and mucus coming from his nose.

At 4 p.m., O’Callaghan said, the toddler was unresponsive and vomiting despite O’Callaghan attempting to wash him in the tub.

It was then that O’Callaghan took his son to the Shady Grove Adventist Emergency Center in Germantown. The child was then taken to Children’s National Medical Center, according to the police documents.

Doctors told police the boy had multiple injuries, including trauma to the brain.

Steven J. McCool, a Washington lawyer representing O’Callaghan at the bail review Tuesday, said O’Callaghan is a “decorated combat Marine veteran” who had served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“This is a tragedy, and not a crime,” he said at the review.

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John J. McCarthy said a hearing for O’Callaghan’s case has been set for March 14.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.

Staff Writer Sylvia Carignan contributed to this report.

kbrick@gazette.net