Gibsonton man stands trial for the death of his infant son

Published Oct. 31, 2012

TAMPA — Two-month-old Nicholas Scoble died of a brain injury five years ago. His father had called 911, saying his son had stopped breathing. On Tuesday, a jury was told was the baby's father, Charles Anthony Scoble, 27, must now answer for first-degree murder.

The Gibsonton father is accused of causing Nicholas' death on May 13, 2007, as the child's mother worked a night shift.

No one witnessed what happened to Nicholas that night, but the prosecution said an acquaintance of Scoble will testify this week that the father told him the baby, only 76 days old, was "blowing his top" in his crib. The acquaintance, the jury was told, persuaded Scoble to describe in writing how he allegedly shook and struck Nicholas, then threw him into his crib.

After midnight, Scoble called 911, telling a dispatcher he'd found Nicholas in his crib not breathing. The dispatcher instructed Scoble how to give CPR — "two puffs and 30 pumps" — until paramedics arrived. The baby never revived.

A May 14, 2007, autopsy found severe head injuries, as well as healed broken ribs.

Throughout, Scoble, a pizza maker, denied he ever hurt Nicholas. He and his wife, Debbie Drzewiecki, married as teens. They have two other children. He worked days, she worked nights. Hillsborough County sheriff's detectives investigated for a year before charging Scoble with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

On Tuesday, his defense attorney, Elizabeth Beardsley, told the jury that the baby showed no outward signs of acute bruising or abuse. "Charles Scoble didn't cause the death of his son," she said. "No one did."

John Barry can be reached at (813) 226-3383 or