A St. Louis man has pleaded guilty to killing his newborn son in 2016 by shaking him and putting his fingers in his throat to keep him from crying.
Robert Burnette, 21, pleaded guilty Tuesday to an accusation of child abuse that resulted in death, in exchange for prosecutors agreeing to eliminate two other charges of child abuse.
The statement was filed on the day the jury selection for his trial was scheduled to begin at the Circuit Court of St. Charles County.
Robert Burnette (left), 21, pleaded guilty Tuesday to an accusation of child abuse that resulted in his death, two years after his six-week-old son, Jaxon (right), succumbed to his injuries
Jaxon's mother, Meghan Hendricks (left), is scheduled to go to trial next month for the same charge as her boyfriend
Authorities say that Jaxon Burnette, six weeks old, had suffered a series of injuries during his short life and had left him with broken bones, possible contusions in the liver and bleeding in the brain.
He also had new and old fractures in his clavicle and several fractures in his ribs that were in different stages of healing.
According to Wentzville police, the abuse occurred between October 18 and November 7, 2016, at the home of Burnette and his girlfriend, Megan Hendricks, 21 years old.
Police said at the time that the young father violently shook the baby Jaxon and hit his face against a bed, holding him there.
She also picked up the child by the back of her neck and inserted her fingers into Jaxon's throat in an attempt to locate her larynx so that she would stop crying, while the child's mother looked and supposedly did nothing. A roommate also witnessed the attack.
Police say Hendricks (left) saw his boyfriend hit his little boy (right) and stick his fingers down the baby's throat to find his larynx, but he did nothing to stop it
Police said Hendricks (left) never showed any emotion while being questioned by the police and only referred to the baby as "the child". or & # 39; baby & # 39;
In an interview with the police, Burnette admitted admitting to being "too rough" with the baby and shaking him.
Wentzville police detective Sean Rosner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Hendricks told police he saw Burnette abuse his son three times, even shake him and put his fingers in his throat.
She said that both she and Burnette knew about the dangers of shaking a baby because both had been required to watch a video before leaving the hospital when their son was born.
Hendricks admitted to lying to doctors about how his son was injured.
The police said she never showed any emotion while being interrogated by the police and that she only called him "the child" or "the baby" instead of calling him by his name.
They also said that he had pretended to cry at one point, but they stopped as soon as the officer left the room.
Hendricks admitted that he knew his son was in danger. She said she had taken the girl to her parents' house, but never asked for help.
This was because she did not want to confront Burnette, she said.
Burnette could face 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 29.
Hendricks is scheduled to go to trial next month for the same charge as her boyfriend.