Baby dies; parents charged with neglect

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 5-month-old boy has died, and the boy's parents have been charged with child neglect.

Charges may be upgraded against Cordero Webber and Kierra Laird, who seemed upset as they made their first appearance in court Monday.

The boy was taken to Baptist Medical Center on Friday, where he died, according to a police report. The couple told police they called 911 when they found the baby was not breathing.

The boy's cause of death was listed as a homicide from blunt force trauma to the head.

The medical examiner also found bruises on the boy's face, chest, elbow, ear and the back of his head, and five fractured ribs, according to the report. He did not have any body fat and was malnourished, and there was no food in his bowels or stomach, according to the report.

Webber admitted he force-fed the baby milk because he'd spit it out, according to the report.

According to the police report, the boy's parents told investigators the baby had been injured since July, when he was born. They were putting ointment on his face from sores the baby received from bed bugs, though the parents wouldn't get him treatment, according to the report.

The boy's mother told police she was negligent in getting medical attention and said that when she asked her boyfriend, the boy's father, about the bruises, he would say the boy was OK, and she would not follow up further, according to the report. The report says the only medical attention sought was from the Internet and asking the boy's grandmother for advice.

Kimberly Webber, the boy's grandmother, said the parents performed CPR on the baby.

"It's just that they were young parents and the baby was a baby, and they didn't do anything. They did not do anything. They did not do nothing to them children, nothing," she said. "The baby just stopped breathing."

The family says they have much more to deal with and can't believe what is happening.
"How are they going to go to the baby's funeral, and the baby's funeral is the 14th?" Kimberly Webber said. "They have not even mourned their child yet."

Other family members also disagree with the charges.

"All of it is a lie because they did not do that to the kids. They did not do that. They are good parents," said Justice White, a relative of the couple. "They did not do that. They are lying. I am telling you that. They did not do it."

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