A Vermont couple was arrested Wednesday for the death of their 1-month-old son, who reportedly died in August with extensive injuries.
WPTZ and WNNE reported Leo Cushing was found dead in an infant rocking chair on August 1 after his father, Matthew Cushing, 36, called the baby’s uncle and aunt to their Swanton apartment.
A four-month investigation reportedly uncovered that Leo Cushing’s mother, Stephanie Gero, 28, shook and slammed the newborn into his crib a week before his death because she was fed up with his crying.
An autopsy report stated that Leo Cushing suffered internal bleeding in his brain and spine. The medical examiner concluded the newborn died from a subdural hemorrhage to his brain and ruled his death a homicide, Vermont State Police said in a press release.
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Gero allegedly admitted to killing her son to state police. Gero told police that Matthew Cushing was in the shower when she mortally injured their son, according to WPTZ and WNNE.
State police said the slain infant’s father was also arrested because he knew Gero was barred from being alone with their son. The baby’s aunt and uncle told the news stations that the Department of Children and Families had prior involvement with the couple due to Gero’s drug use and mental state.
The uncle and aunt disagreed with Matthew Cushing being charged in connection with his son’s death, saying he “loved that kid to death.”
Officials told WPTZ and WNNE that the couple had a history of fighting. Matthew Cushing reportedly filed a protective order against Gero a week before their newborn son’s death.
In November, Matthew Cushing reportedly agreed to call Gero with a wiretap. During the call, Gero allegedly said, “You want me to tell them I killed him? Fine, I killed him! You happy?” Matthew Cushing was unaware Gero was responsible for their son’s death until that phone call, court documents detailed.
Gero called Matthew Cushing back and claimed she only said she killed their son because it was what he wanted to hear, according to the news stations.
Gero was charged with aggravated domestic assault and cruelty to a child resulting in death. Matthew Cushing was charged with cruelty to a child resulting in death.
Gero pleaded not guilty to the charges against her. Her bail was set at $25,000. Matthew Cushing was released from custody and received a summons to appear in court on December 22.
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[Featured image: Leo Cushing, Matthew Cushing, Stephanie Gero/Facebook]