LOWELL -- A 22-year-old Lowell man was indicted Thursday by a Middlesex grand jury on a charge of second-degree murder in the May death of his 9-week old baby.
Christopher Berry is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn.
On May 11, Lowell police, firefighters and paramedics responded to 215 Mammoth Road in Lowell for an unresponsive infant.
William Berry was initially taken to Lowell General Hospital, then transported to Tufts Floating Hospital for Children suffering from injuries consistent with non-accidental trauma, Ryan stated.
An investigation led authorities to initially charge Berry with assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury.
Berry allegedly shook his son with "such force as to cause extensive and catastrophic brain injuries," Ryan said in a statement.
Berry became "stressed out" and frustrated, so he shook the baby for 30 seconds causing "catastrophic" brain injury, according to prosecutor Katharine Folger.
Berry, who was alone with the child at the time, initially told police the baby rolled off the couch, then he said he dropped the child on his head.
Police described Berry as appearing "emotionally detached" as he talked about the baby, at times appearing angry with the baby for spitting up and defecating.
Berry allegedly admitted to police he shook the baby for 30 seconds, after which his son went limp and became unresponsive, Folger said.
Doctors determined the baby suffered subdural hemorrhaging, subarachnoid hemorrhaging, brain edema/swelling and a skull fracture.
On May 17, the child was pronounced dead at Tufts Floating Hospital for Children after he was taken off life support.
Berry is being held on $500,000 cash bail.
He also has a number of open cases in Lowell District Court, including one charging him with animal cruelty for deliberately driving through a flock of pigeons, killing several of them.
Those cases will remain in Lowell District Court.
Suffolk District Attorney spokesman Jake Wark said a family member of Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan had an interaction with the family after the baby, William, was born, so the case is being prosecuted by a Suffolk prosecutor to avoid any possible conflict of interest.
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