Police: Missouri infant dies after abuse by parents

Megan Hendricks and Robert Burnette

Megan Hendricks and Robert Burnette

WENTZVILLE, Mo. — A 9-week-old Missouri baby whose father is accused of sticking his fingers down the child’s throat to stop his crying has died after what authorities believe was a short lifetime of abuse.

Wentzville Assistant Police Chief Paul West says the boy died Monday at a St. Louis hospital after a family court judge ordered that he be removed from life-support. A hospital ethics committee signed off and the boy’s parents didn’t challenge the decision.

The parents, 19-year-old Robert Burnette and 20-year-old Megan Hendricks, are charged with felony child abuse or neglect.

Police say Burnette shoved his fingers down the infant son’s throat to make the baby stop crying, violently shook him, picked him up by his neck and threw him against a wall.

Police say Hendricks watched but didn’t intervene.