A 9-week-old baby who suffered physical abuse at the hands of his parents, including one instance where the boy's father shoved his fingers down the toddler's throat in an attempt to stop him from crying, has died in the hospital.
The Daily Mail reports that 9-week-old Jax endured a plethora of injuries during his short life that left him with broken bones and bleeding in his brain. Jax was taken from his parents and transferred to protective custody and held at a children's hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. However, the boy died after a family court judge ruled that he be removed from life support.
The child’s father, 19-year-old Robert James Burnette, has been accused of violently shaking Jax, as well as shoving his fingers down the boy’s throat to stop him from crying. Burnette also allegedly picked Jax up by the neck and threw him against a wall.
Burnette has been charged with child abuse resulting in death, and Jax’s mother, 20-year-old Megan Hendrix, also faces abuse charges after police say she witnessed the abuse over the course of several weeks and did nothing to stop it.
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In a police interview, Burnette admitted to shaking his baby, which police claim he knew was wrong since he was forced to watch a video on proper baby care before taking his child from the hospital. Hendrix also allegedly told police that she witnessed several instances of abuse, including Burnette throwing Jax into a wall and sticking his fingers down the baby’s throat. She claims she did not intervene and even lied to doctors about the baby’s injuries because she was afraid of confronting Burnette.
Police claim she never referred to her child by name, only as "the kid" or "the baby." She also pretended to cry at one point, but reportedly stopped as soon as police left the room, not realizing she was being videotaped.
People on Facebook were outraged by the baby’s treatment. One user wrote, “That baby never had a chance in life with parents like these. As long as the system keeps incentivising childbirth, more unfit people will keep having kids, and lead to more suffering. Time to overhaul social welfare! It's draining our economy.”
Another added, “Has it always been this awful or is it because of media now that we are now aware? Either way I hope this monster gets everything he's due.”
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Authorities claim that Burnette has a history of violent behavior, even going so far as to attempt to kill his own brother on numerous occasions, including beating and stabbing him as well as trying to drown and smother him.
Court records reveal that Burnette even spent time in mental health institutions for severe anger issues.