Mother, boyfriend charged after severely bruised baby dies, sheriff says
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS/Gray News) – A mother and her boyfriend are facing charges after the death of her severely bruised baby was ruled a homicide.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said deputies were called to an area hospital on Sept. 6 after staff reported an unresponsive 4-month-old baby. Investigators noticed bruises on the baby’s back, arms, legs and ears.
The child was placed on life support and was pronounced brain dead on Sept. 8.
An autopsy on Sept. 9 found the baby had a rib fracture, severe brain and eye hemorrhaging, and bruises across the body.
The mother, Cassandra Clautu, told deputies her boyfriend, Philip Coker, was watching the child and woke up to find the baby unresponsive.
Clautu was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child, and Coker was charged with homicide. Both were booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
Further investigation found the baby had been injured during a prior incident. Investigators said Clautu did not seek medical treatment for the baby at the time.
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