On April 3, 2020, the Reno Police Department received a call about a 2-week-old boy who was having trouble breathing. Medics transported the newborn, Zayden, to a hospital and testing revealed he was suffering from multiple brain bleeds and retinal hemorrhaging, which revealed he had "significant trauma."
Zayden died from his injuries four days later on April 7.
Medical officials "determined that the abusive head trauma that Zayden suffered was the result of child abuse," leading police to believe Melzo "was responsible for his son’s death."
According to the district attorney’s office, prosecutors called on medical experts to testify, who said the "internal damage done to Zayden was some of the worst they had ever seen in their careers."
Deputy District Attorney Nicole Hicks argued at the trial Zayden suffered "extreme and catastrophic trauma," which she said should have sent Melzo to life in prison without parole. The judge, however, sided with Melzo’s attorneys who said the jury should decide the sentencing requirements.