EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

December 14, 2013

Lowell man faces murder charge in baby's death

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Charges against a Lowell man accused of so severely injuring his infant son that the child died have been upgraded to murder, prosecutors say.

Christopher Berry, 23, was indicted by a Middlesex grand jury on a second-degree murder charge in connection with the death in May of his 9-week-old son, William.

The Sun of Lowell reports that he is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

The baby was taken to a hospital on May 11 suffering from “catastrophic brain injuries” authorities say were caused by violent shaking. The little boy died at a Boston hospital about a week later.

Berry has been held on $500,000 bail after pleading not guilty in May to assault and battery on a child causing substantial bodily injury. That charge will be dismissed when he is arraigned on the more serious offense.

Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Gloriann Moroney led the grand jury investigation leading to the indictment because a social worker assigned to the Berry family after William’s birth is related to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, and that could lead to a possible conflict of interest.

Berry told police that the child fell. His attorney has said his client has post-traumatic stress disorder after serving a year in Afghanistan and has been receiving medication and counseling.

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