Crime

Man And Woman Charged In Extreme Child Abuse Case

| by Michael Howard

A Missouri couple has been arrested and charged with child abuse after police say the father stuck his fingers down his 6-week-old's throat to make the baby stop crying.

Robert Burnette, 19, also allegedly violently shook the child and slammed him down face first onto a bed, causing serious physical injuries.

Megan Hendricks, 20, the baby's mother, reportedly witnessed the ongoing abuse -- which took place between Oct. 18 and Nov. 7 -- and did nothing to stop it.

Police say Burnette confessed to shaking the child and "being too rough with him," according to KMOV.

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Hendricks, meanwhile, admitted to observing Burnette shake her baby on at least three separate occasions. She also saw Burnette grab the baby by the neck and roughly slam him onto a bed.

According to police, Hendricks showed no emotion as she explained that she let the abuse continue because she didn’t want to get into a fight with Burnette. She referred to her baby only as "the kid." At one point during her interview she began to cry, but reportedly stopped as soon as police left the room.

The baby is now being treated at a St. Louis hospital for a number of serious injuries, including bleeding in the brain, lack of oxygen to the brain and liver contusions. The injuries may prove to be fatal, and even if the baby does recover, he will likely suffer from debilitating physical and mental disabilities, KMOV reports.

Wentzville Police Chief Kurt Frisz admitted to being shocked by the "outright savageness of the assault," according to The Associated Press.

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Burnette has been charged with abuse or neglect of a child and is being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond. Hendricks, who has been charged with the same, is being held on a $250,000 cash-only bond.

Sources: KMOV, AP via CBS News / Photo credit: KMOV

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