Babysitter pleads not guilty in baby's death

Barbara Kendrick, 65, charged with murder after 5-month-old baby dies


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 65-year-old babysitter accused of causing a 5-month-old's death last month when she threw him into a playpen pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of aggravated child abuse and second-degree murder.

Barbara Kendrick, who police said admitted to forcibly throwing Cooper Dubovik into a playpen because he had been fussy due to teething and fever, will be in court again May 16.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Kendrick, a relative of the child, went to a neighbor to call 911 and was performing CPR when officers arrived.

"It appears she got a little frustrated at some point, and possibly lost her temper," Sheriff's Office homicide Sgt. Jay Farhat said.

Cooper suffered a fractured skull and was taken to UF Health Jacksonville in life-threatening condition and then transferred to Wolfson Children's Hospital, where he died late Wednesday.

Kendrick has no prior arrests in Duval County, but in Clay County she pleaded guilty in 2004 to passing worthless checks and was placed on probation. In 2009, she pleaded guilty to trafficking in opiates in Clay County and was sentenced to 18 months home detention and two years of probation.

Farhat said the baby's parents were working at the time Cooper was injured. He said they had been taking the child to Kendrick's home for a little more than a month. 

In addition to the police investigation, the Florida Department of Children and Families launched a separate investigation into Cooper's death.