Albert Lea, MN (KROC-AM News)- An Albert Lea man with a violent criminal history has been charged in connection with the death of a toddler. 

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A news release issued Friday by Albert Lea Police says officers responded to an apartment at 504 James Ave. on the report of an unresponsive child shortly before 11:45 a.m. Thursday. Officers later learned the child had fallen down the stairs but was still breathing when police arrived. 

The child’s mother told officers she had just gotten home and didn’t know what happened. She also said her boyfriend, 24-year-old Austin Michael Navarro, was home with the child and an infant. 

Navarro. Freeborn County Jail Roster
Navarro. Freeborn County Jail Roster
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Officers then spotted Navarro leaving the scene in a vehicle with the infant. Police pursued him, conducted a traffic stop and arrested Navarro on suspicion of child endangerment and driving after revocation, the news release says. 

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The toddler was taken to Mayo Clinic Hospital in Albert Lea where he died from his injuries. Law enforcement then opened a suspicious death investigation which included an autopsy that ruled the boy’s death was a homicide caused by blunt force trauma. 

Navarro was charged in Freeborn County Court Friday with second-degree homicide and felony child endangerment. His conditional bail was set at $500,000. 

Court records indicate Navarro was convicted of felony domestic assault last May and has also been convicted of two misdemeanor domestic assault crimes, two felony violations of a domestic abuse no-contact order and one count of felony assault.

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