A New Hampshire man is convicted of child endangerment after abandoning Hall of Fame grandchild Dennis Eckersley in a freezing tent when the MLB pitcher’s daughter gave birth in the woods
- George Theberge, 45, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty
- The little boy was left alone in a tent for over an hour on December 26
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A New Hampshire man has been sentenced to a minimum of a year in prison for endangering the life of Baseball Hall of Fame grandson Dennis Eckersley by leaving the baby in a tent in 15-degree temperatures (minus 9.4 degrees Celsius) on December 26, 2022.
George Theberge, 45, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty to the child endangerment charge, after reaching an agreement with prosecutors, plus an additional six months behind bars for a probation violation stemming from his arrest in January and a drug charge.
The little boy was left alone in a tent for more than an hour on December 26 as the temperature plummeted, authorities said.
A police affidavit refers to Theberge as the boyfriend of the baby’s mother, Alexandra Eckersley, 26, who is accused of abandoning her son without warmth or proper clothing. She pleaded not guilty to assault, reckless driving and other counts, and was released on bail. She is awaiting trial next year.
Alexandra’s attorney said his client didn’t know she was pregnant, gave birth alone, called 911 and led the police to the baby. She said Eckersley suffered from medical complications. Since then, she said Eckersley has completed her rehab programs, is sober and sees her son on regular visits.
George Theberge (left) was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty. A police affidavit refers to Theberge as the boyfriend of the baby’s mother, Alexandra Eckersley (right)
Oakland Athletics Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley honored in 2019
The Eckersley family released a statement at the time of her arrest saying they had no prior knowledge of Alexandra’s pregnancy. They said she had suffered from ‘serious mental illness all her life’ and had done her best to get his help and support.
Alexandra has since claimed that Theberge was also present during the birth of her baby and that he actually returned to the tent to turn off his tablet and propane heater, leaving the baby in the cold.
She also claimed that before the police arrived, the two men had agreed not to lead officers to their tent for fear it would be torn down and swept away, leaving them homeless over the winter.
“Eckersley admitted to having a conversation with George where they agreed to tell the police that the incident happened on the football pitches so that the police would not find and take their tents,” said the police in Alexandra’s arrest report.
“Eckersley said it was very difficult to survive if they had lost their tent to the cold Manchester winter temperatures. Eckersley said that’s why they turned off the propane heater.
Alexandra Eckersley reportedly refused to show cops the tent where her baby was lying
Dennis Eckersley was drafted by Cleveland as a California high schooler in 1972, then pitched 24 seasons as a 20-win starter and 50-save reliever for Cleveland, Boston, the Cubs, Oakland and the Cardinals.
He won AL Cy Young and MVP awards in 1992 while playing for Oakland Athletics. Eckersley retired last year from broadcasting Boston Red Sox games.
The elder Eckersley has been open about his own battles with alcohol after getting sober in 1987.
Alexandra is one of Dennis’ two adopted children with his ex-wife, Nancy O’Neil. He is currently married to his third wife, Jennifer.