Two charged with neglecting 'horrific' injuries to an infant in their care in North Adams
PITTSFIELD — Despite "horrific" injuries to an 11-month-old baby in their care, two North Adams residents failed to report the apparent abuse to authorities, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Rachael Eramo told jurors the child was physically assaulted, beaten and burned, which resulted in injuries from the "top of his head to the soles of his feet."
The defendants, Brett Logan and Karisa Miranda-Ruiz, are being tried in Berkshire Superior Court on charges of reckless endangerment of a child for allegedly being aware of the child's injuries but failing to report them. They are not charged with causing the injuries.
"We don't know what happened," said attorney Edmund St. John III, who represents Miranda-Ruiz, during opening statements.
Attorney Richard LeBlanc, representing Logan, also pointed out to jurors that his client is not charged with the beating and burning of the child, but facing the same allegation as his co-defendant.
He told jurors he would expect them to have a great deal of sympathy for the child, especially when photos of his injuries are presented as evidence, but he reminded them to be aware Logan is not charged with causing them.
The exact cause of most of the injuries remains unclear. A third person, Chelsey Roy, pleaded guilty last week to charges connected to causing the child's burns with a butane lighter held against his skin, but was not charged with causing the remaining injuries. DNA evidence linked her to a lighter with the child's DNA also on it.
The child had no injuries prior to entering the home shared by Logan, Miranda-Ruiz and Roy, on Oct. 3, 2014, Eramo said.
According to St. John, Miranda-Ruiz checked on the child the night of Oct. 4, and there were no issues. On Sunday morning, St. John said, his client discovered the boy had "horrific" injuries.
Eramo said Miranda-Ruiz took the child to Berkshire Medical Center satellite emergency center in North Adams, and told staffers the child had been hit with a plastic bat by a toddler over the weekend. The staff alerted police to suspected child abuse.
The boy was later taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. Information about the current condition of the child was not available. After pleading guilty to charges of reckless endangerment of a child and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (lighter) on a child, Roy was sentenced to two years in jail, one year of which would be served directly, with the balance suspended during a two-year period of probation.
Testimony in the trial is expected to continue Wednesday.
Reach Bob Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.
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