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‘These are the cases that keep you up at night’: Dad who witnesses said was ‘rough’ with newborn convicted of beating baby to death

By Jerry Lambe,


Jesse Cook (Fredericks County State’s Attorney’s Office)

A 45-year-old man in Maryland is facing decades behind bars after being found guilty of killing his 1-month-old infant son, repeatedly beating the newborn until the child ultimately died from his injuries. A Frederick County jury on Thursday found Jesse Cook guilty on one count of first-degree child abuse resulting in the death of a child under age 13 and two counts of second-degree child abuse, authorities announced.

According to a press release from the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office, deputies with the county sheriff’s office and emergency medical services on June 17, 2020, responded to a 911 call regarding an infant “in cardiac arrest” at a residence located in the 5300 block of Kingsbrook Drive, which is about 50 miles west of Baltimore.

Upon arriving at the scene, first responders located the victim and immediately transported him to Frederick Health Hospital. Unfortunately, the medical staff pronounced the newborn dead approximately one hour after he had arrived at the facility.

A subsequent autopsy performed by the Fredericks County Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed that the victim had suffered multiple injuries to his body that were “consistent with non-accidental trauma.” Those injuries included “approximately 20 healing broken ribs, a prior abdominal injury, and a new abdominal injury that ultimately led to the infant’s death at just one month and 26 days old.” The child’s previously broken ribs indicate abuse that predated his fatal abdominal injury, the medical examiner determined.

“The Medical Examiner determined that the injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma and ruled the infant’s death a homicide,” the release states.

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    FCSO detectives investigating the circumstances of the victim’s death said they were able to uncover evidence that Cook, the victim’s father, was culpable in the boy’s death. According to the release, investigators found that Cook had sent “numerous concerning text messages and searched numerous concerning subjects related to the infant child.” It was not immediately clear what the text messages said or what Cook searched online. The state’s attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a message from Law&Crime seeking additional details on the matter.

    Prosecutors said that several witnesses also came forward and told investigators that they had seen Cook being “rough” with the newborn during his tragically short life.

    “These are the cases that keep you up at night realizing what some people are capable of,” State’s Attorney Charlie Smith said in a statement following Thursday’s proceedings. “This poor baby knew nothing but hate and abuse in this world. Jesse Cook is the reason we have prisons, and we will do everything within our power to make sure he is in one for many, many years.”

    A sentencing hearing for Cook has not yet been scheduled. He is facing a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for the abuse resulting in death charge, and 15 years for each of the other abuse charges.

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    The post ‘These are the cases that keep you up at night’: Dad who witnesses said was ‘rough’ with newborn convicted of beating baby to death first appeared on Law & Crime .

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