Crystal City, Missouri couple- Jessica Alice Cook and Phillip Thomas Leon Compton are charged with fatally starving their six week old baby- who weighed only 5 pounds at time of death.
A Missouri couple whose infant son died in February have been charged with fatally starving the 6-week-old boy.
Phillip Thomas Leon Compton, 31, and Jessica Alice Cook, 33, both of Crystal City, were charged Friday with abuse or neglect of a child resulting in death in connection to Kanaan Leon Compton, who died on Feb. 10 while weighing just 5 pounds, according to court files cited by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The boy, who was born on Dec. 24, 2017 weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces at birth – lost more than a pound in the final month of his life according to filed court documents.
Paramedics and police were called to the couple’s home after their baby son was having trouble breathing. The infant boy was pronounced dead less than an hour later at a hospital in Festus.
Jessica Alice Cook and Phillip Thomas Leon Compton: ‘We thought he was fine because we are both very skinny’
The couple’s child appeared to be malnourished, with Compton countering- telling investigators he believed he was fine ‘due to him and Ms. Cook both being very skinny,’ according to a police report.
Compton said his son had not had a bowel movement in more than five days and believed Cook made an appointment with a doctor as a result, but those visits were later canceled, rescheduled or missing altogether.
Compton’s mother had also previously contacted him to tell him that Kanaan looked thin and needed medical attention after seeing a photograph of the boy on social media.
An autopsy later found that the boy died of malnutrition and probable dehydration.
An attorney for Compton said that his client was unaware that the boy wasn’t being fed regularly.
‘He worked full time and was only assuming his wife was feeding his child,’ attorney Lenny Kagan said. ‘He is a first-time parent and a good guy. His life has been turned upside down. It’s 100 percent tragic accident. Phillip is devastated. The family is devastated.’
Compton was named in a police report, however, as not caring for his son on the morning authorities responded to the couple’s home. He failed to make a doctor’s appointment after Cook said Kanaan appeared to be too thin. He also stayed in bed as the boy made ‘unfamiliar choking noises,’ according to court records.
Not immediately understood is why it took prosecutors up to 10 months after the boy’s death to indict the parens. Kanaan is survived by two brothers, according to the boy’s obituary.
‘It was a very difficult incident to deal with,’ Crystal City Police Chief Chad Helms told the St Louis Dispatch. ‘They’ve continually stayed focused and tried to find the answers.’
Cook, who did not have an attorney listed in court records, remained jailed Tuesday after a judge set bail for her and Compton at $50,000 cash.