An Illinois couple is behind bars, accused of severely beating their seven-week-old infant son, authorities in the Madison County community of Granite City say.
Madison County prosecuting attorney Tom Gibbons told KMOV he believes Ashlee Wethington, 18, and her boyfriend, 20-year-old Kamryn Kerr, are responsible for the injuries found on the baby.
The couple brought the child to the Gateway Regional Medical Center emergency room Monday afternoon. After staff members there observed that the child had multiple rib fractures and other injuries they called police.
Gibbons said he believes both suspects squeezed the child so tightly they fractured his ribs. He also told the Belleville News-Democrat that he believes someone pulled so violently on the young boy’s legs that it fractured his shinbones.
The infant has other internal injuries as well. He was last reported to be in serious condition.
Gibbons told the Alton Daily News that it is hard to “imagine the suffering of this two-month-old baby.”
“That this is the life that the baby has known, and allegedly at the hands of the two people that are supposed to be protecting this child, it’s really very, very sad to see something like this,” he said.
The prosecutor’s office is working to secure protective custody for the baby.
Gibbons’ office filed charges against Wethington and Kerr Wednesday. The couple stands charged with felony aggravated battery to a child and misdemeanor endangering the life or health of a child.
Under Illinois law, the aggravated battery charge could carry a prison sentence between six and 30 years.
Wethington and Kerr remain in custody. They are both being held on $200,000 bond. It was not immediately clear if the couple has an attorney.