Parents arrested after baby severely injured in alleged child abuse
WENTZVILLE, Mo. – Police have arrested and charged two Wentzville, Missouri parents after investigators say the father allegedly shoved his fingers down his 6-week-old son’s throat to stop him from crying while the mother watched, KMOV reported.
Police say Robert Burnette caused serious physical injury and head trauma to his son, identified only as “J.B,” by violently shaking him, slamming him into a bed face first, and holding him there and shoving his fingers down the baby’s throat.
The mother, Megan Hendricks, witnessed the abuse but did not seek help, police said. The alleged abuse occurred between Oct. 18 and Nov. 7.
Burnette admitted to shaking J.B and “being too rough with him” during an interview. Hendricks was also interviewed and said she said she saw Burnette shake J.B on more than three occasions. She also claims he grabbed the baby by the back of the neck and slammed him face first into a bed.
According to court documents, Hendricks said she refused to leave the situation with J.B because she didn’t want to have a confrontation with Burnette. Police say during her interview, she showed no emotion regarding the condition her son was in and only referred to him as “the kid.” They also claim she started to cry, but when the interviewer left the room, she immediately stopped crying and showed only anger and disdain.
The baby is currently being treated for bleeding of the brain, a lack of oxygen to brain tissue, possible liver contusions, and a list of other ailments. Doctors fear death is a likely possibility. If the baby does survive, they say there is a high chance he will have extreme physical and mental disabilities.
Burnette is being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond and charged with abuse or neglect of a child. Hendricks faces the same charges, but her bail is $250,000 cash only.