Police arrested a Spokane man suspected of abusing and killing his 3-week-old son.
According to court documents, staff at Providence Holy Family Hospital called police to report that an unresponsive infant had been brought to the emergency room on Aug. 7. The baby was transferred to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and a doctor there told police that the injuries the child sustained, including brain damage, a broken clavicle and bruising on his face and genitalia, could not be accidental or from natural causes.
The doctor told police that this was the worst case of child abuse he had seen in his more than two decades of practice.
Police interviewed Erik G. Sherman, 33, and the infant’s mother, who said their baby had never been left alone with anyone else. Sherman told police that a few days before they took their baby to the hospital, he had been attempting to feed his son in the bathroom when the infant’s head unexpectedly rocked forward and hit his shoulder.
The parents said the child had not been able to drink from a bottle or breastfeed after the incident and they were feeding him by dripping milk into his mouth.
According to court documents, they said he had not behaved normally after that evening and they searched for possible conditions and treatments on the internet instead of taking the baby to a doctor.
Both parents told police they had not seen their partner injure the baby and they did not know how he sustained his other injuries. According to a news release from the Spokane Police Department, the infant later died from his injuries.
Police arrested Sherman on Thursday afternoon and booked him into the Spokane County Jail on suspicion of homicide by abuse. Sherman has a $1 million bond.
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