Friday August 17, 2012

GREAT BARRINGTON -- A Sheffield woman was found guilty Thursday of striking her 2-year-old son within earshot of a judge during a trial in Southern Berkshire District Court.

Ashley Baird was sentenced to one year of probation for the single count of assault and battery.

Witnesses said Baird was with her son on July 16, waiting for a hearing concerning the child's father, who is unnamed in police reports.

When the child became fussy, Judge Fredric Rutberg asked Baird to remove him from the courtroom.

Witnesses said "Baird picked up her child in a rough manner and carried him to the door," at which point a crashing noise was heard in the courtroom, followed by cries from the child, according to Great Barrington police.

From the bench, Rutberg ordered a victim advocate present to contact the state Department of Children and Families. Police responded and spoke to witnesses who said they saw Baird strike the child, go outside the courtroom and begin cursing loudly.

Police said a lump was visible on the child's head.

In addition to hearing the attack, Rutberg presided over the trial.


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