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Man pleads not guilty to charges unrelated to missing infant son

Booking photo of Dwayne Weedon
Booking photo of Dwayne Weedon

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville man, whose infant son is missing and believed to be dead, pleaded not guilty to unrelated charges of robbery and aggravated assault in Duval County Court Wednesday. 

Dwayne Curtis Weedon, 29, is charged with armed robbery, burglary, dealing in stolen property, credit card fraud and false verification of ownership.

He faces no charges in connection with the disappearance of his son, Nehemiah. 

Weedon was wanted for questioning in his son's disappearance, who hasn't been seen since 2014. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it believes the baby was dead in October 2014.

He's being held on a $1.9 million bond at the Duval County Jail, according to jail records. His next pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 4. 

Weedon was arrested in February on several outstanding warrants after a Crime Stoppers tip was called in, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

The tipster who called Crime Stoppers about Weedon spotted him on the "Wheel of Justice" on Channel 4 News, police said.

The tipster said Weedon was living with his mother. Police said they went to her house on the Jacksonville's Northside and found Weedon there, hiding in a closet.

Weedon is accused of armed robbery in connection with an incident Jan. 8 at a Subway near Regency Square.

According to the report, Weedon took money and stole keys from a young woman inside the restaurant.

It’s not clear if he took her car, but he was also charged with knowingly driving with a suspended license.

Weedon was also charged with burglary without a weapon in connection with an incident in December 2015.

Those charges include illegal use of a credit card and dealing in stolen property.

Missing baby presumed dead

The Sheriff's Office said Nehemiah's mother, Kristen Branch, was pregnant in the Duval County jail in March 2014. She had been arrested on drug, fraud and forgery charges.

In August 2014, the then-26-year-old was taken from the jail to UF Health Jacksonville, where she gave birth to a child named Nehemiah. Branch turned the child over to Weedon, his biological father.

Authorities said Weedon was homeless and stayed at the Sulzbacher Center along with the couple's two other children, ages 2 and 4, while Branch was in jail. She was sentenced in September 2014 and served her time at the Florida State Prison.

According to JSO Chief Tom Hackney, Weedon was having trouble caring for Nehemiah and he told a case worker at Sulzbacher in October 2014 that he made arrangements with an out-of-town relative to take custody of Nehemiah.

Police said Weedon was asked to leave Sulzbacher in December 2014 with his two other children because of behavioral issues. Nearly a year later, Branch finished her sentence at Florida State Prison and was released in November 2015.

She contacted Weedon and took custody of her two children and he told her that he gave Nehemiah to an out-of-state relative. However, Branch, along with some of her family members in St. Johns County, began questioning Weedon's story about the baby in December 2015.