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2-Month-Old Dies In Vermont

NEWFANE, Vt. -- Authorities said a 23-year-old Newfane man is to be arraigned Monday in the death of his infant daughter.

Vermont State Police said Joseph Brown was being held on $50,000 bail following his arrest Saturday on a charge of second-degree murder. Authorities say he is due for arraignment Monday at 1 p.m. in Vermont District Court for Windham County.

Police said they were called to Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend on Saturday on a report of a 2-month-old infant who had been brought in with serious injuries and who had died shortly after her arrival at the hospital.
Brown faces both the murder charge and a count of aggravated domestic assault.

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Joseph Brown, 23, of Newfane, showed no emotion when he was brought into the courtroom to be charged with killing his infant daughter Autumn.
Sitting in the front row was the baby's mother-- Brown's live-in girlfriend Nicole Eckert. The couple also has a 20-month-old son.
Police say the couple drove Autumn to the ER at the Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend on Saturday afternoon, but the child was already dead.
"The police were called shortly after. The parents were separated. Two detectives spoke with the defendant outside the hospital, at which point he eventually made admissions about the harm he's done to the child. Not just Saturday but over the preceding weeks," said Tracy Shriver, the Windham County Prosecutor.
Police say Brown admitted he had physically abused the baby several times over the past 5 weeks, including force feeding her through a plastic tube he had pushed into her lungs, choking her several times when she cried, punching her on the head several times over the past week, and several times on the night she was fatally injured.
The autopsy determined the infant died of multiple skull fractures.
"Blunt trauma injuries to the child's skull as well as fractures to her ribs," Shriver said.
Brown told police his girlfriend and their son were asleep in the couple's apartment when he assaulted the baby.
Shriver declined comment when asked if there would be any additional charges or arrests.
Brown pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder. Conviction on that charge carries a presumptive sentence of 20 years to life.
Brown is being held on bail set at $50,000 cash. Murder suspects are rarely released on cash bail. In this case, the prosecutor agreed to $50,000 because Brown has no prior criminal record and he has long ties to the area.
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