Two people are in custody after the tragic death of their 3-year-old son, according to local sources. New York authorities in Seneca Falls arrested the couple and have charged them with several counts of murder and associated crimes. If they are found guilty, they could face years in prison, and each individual is likely focused on preparing a criminal defense as the case heads to court.
According to the police report, a 911 call was placed by the child's stepfather around 11:40 p.m. the night of May 12 in which the 38-year-old man reportedly told police the boy had fallen down the stairs. Police arrived to find the child unresponsive, and he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death.
Investigators say the child's body had considerable injuries consistent with long-term physical abuse. A felony complaint says the child did not fall down the stairs, but that his stepfather allegedly beat him with a belt, causing the child to hit his head on the floor and lose consciousness. The man and his partner, who is the child's biological mother, now face three counts of second-degree murder, two charges of manslaughter in the first degree, as well as several counts of assaulting a child and endangering a child's welfare.
The severity of these charges cannot be understated any more than the tragic death of a child can be. New York prosecutors carry the burden of proof in this instance, as they will need to provide compelling evidence of the alleged abuse the child suffered. In the meantime, each defendant will rely upon criminal defense counsel, and each lawyer will work to build a separate case in the defense against the myriad charges. This will involve careful review of the police report and any associated evidence that prosecutors intend to offer for the court's consideration.
Source: newyorkupstate.com, "Seneca Falls couple charged with murder after 3-year-old boy dies, police say", Sarah Moses Buckshot, May 17, 2018