The mother of a man accused of attacking a 6-year-old boy with a baseball bat in Texas says he has a serious mental illness and is asking authorities to let her visit her son in jail, according to Williamson County district clerk records.
Daniel Logan, 39, has been charged with assault with injury to a child with intentional serious bodily injury. Police say he beat Jeremy Diaz after breaking into his family’s home on Sept. 11. Jeremy suffered serious brain injuries and died on Nov. 14.
“At the time of the assault he was not himself,” Cindy Logan wrote in a letter to court officials. “He was having a severe psychotic break.”
Her son is currently being treated in a mental hospital and has been found incompetent to stand trial, according to court records. A hearing is scheduled Jan. 23 to see if his competency has been restored.
In the meantime, investigators are trying to determine whether charges against Logan will be upgraded to capital murder, the Williamson County sheriff’s office has said. Capital murder is punishable with a death sentence, life imprisonment or life imprisonment without parole.
“No decisions have been made yet,” District Attorney Shawn Dick said. “There is still information to gather from law enforcement, and we wanted to give his family some time to mourn the unimaginable loss of their son.”
Jeremy’s father Art Diaz said he thinks it would be appropriate to charge Logan with capital murder. “That’s what he did,” he said.
A public memorial service for Jeremy will be held Dec. 9, and his family set up a GoFundMe to help with his medical and funeral costs.
A nighttime attack
Art Diaz said on Wednesday that his family never had any reason to fear for their safety before Logan, who is their neighbor, entered the boy’s bedroom and beat him with the bat, causing multiple skull fractures.
“We never noticed any erratic behavior and never felt threatened. My son and I greeted him cordially just the weekend before from our patio,” Art Diaz said.
Witness statements indicate Logan went through a hole in a picket fence, into the Diaz’s yard and, baseball bat in hand, through a smashed back patio door and into the Diaz home.
Diaz said he doesn’t know why Logan attacked his son.
“That’s for him to answer,” said Diaz. “I suspect he hated good things, or the joy in which my children greeted him, since he had no issue striking down my son. We are a Christian family.”
Diaz also said he suspected that Logan “would have continued against everyone in the house if I had failed to disarm him.”
He also said that a few days before the attack, he thinks Logan had made the cut in the fencing that separated their houses.
“Looks like he was already moving in our direction,” Diaz said. He said the cut destroyed a grape vine growing on the fence that he and Jeremy had planted.
Logan and his wife had made a compliment about the grape vine because it was growing so high, Diaz said.
A ‘horrible neurostorm’ and then nothing
The skull fractures caused Jeremy’s brain to swell. Yet he survived for more than 60 days, his father said. He even had seemed to be improving a few days before his death.
“Toward the last days, he would open both eyes and was more conscious,” said Art Diaz. “His vitals had also been improving dramatically. We thought he would make it.”
Jeremy died the day before doctors planned to take a tube out of his throat that helped him breathe, his father said. He had suddenly gotten worse, Diaz said. “Jeremy was having a horrible neurostorm and didn’t recover,” he said.
A neurostorm is a stress reaction to a traumatic brain injury.
“During a neurostorm, the body contracts, temp goes up, heart goes up; painful to watch,” he said. Diaz said the neurostorm that Jeremy was having before he died “was the worst one he had and was also surprising since he hadn’t had one in weeks.
“Tough to witness,” he said.
A mother’s plea
Dick, the district attorney, declined to say whether investigators think the attack was random or targeted. And he said charges can’t be filed against someone who is presently incompetent. “The criminal case simply cannot move forward unless/until the defendant regains competency,” he said.
Logan, 39, is also charged with aggravated assault in connection with hitting his mother in the face with a baseball bat when she tried to stop his attack, according to an arrest affidavit. She had followed her son into the Diaz home and upstairs. She told authorities she found Jeremy there, “slumped on the floor of an upstairs bedroom.” When Logan trailed her son back to the first floor, pleading with him to stop, he turned and struck her across the face with the bat.
In Cindy Logan’s mother letter and motion asking that restrictions by lifted so she could visit him in jail, she said in the motion that “Daniel William Logan has never before this incident hurt me.”
“I would like to see him to offer him support while he goes through this legal process,” the letter said.
“He is in jail and me visiting him would not put me in danger,” according to the motion. It was filed at the district clerk’s office on Oct. 18.