The mother of an infant that died recently has been charged with two counts related to the child's death and the mother's boyfriend has been charged with attempting to tamper with a witness in the mother's case.
Christina Gertin, 20, of St. Robert is facing charges of one count of class A felony Abuse or Neglect of a Child and one count of class A Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the first degree. The charges state that Gertin caused the child's death "while under the influence of alcohol" by placing the child "in an unsafe sleep environment."
According to court documents, Pulaski County Sheriff's Department deputies arrived at Gertin's home after report of "an unconscious/unresponsive infant." The infant was taken to the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital "where he was pronounced dead a short time later."
The detective wrote in the probable cause statement that he observed several bottles of alchohol that were either empty or close to empty in the kitchen and the bedroom of the residence.
"After processing the scene I made contact with Christina. I observed Christina drinking a cup of what appeared to be coffee. When I spoke to her it was obvious to me with my training and experience she was under the influence of an intoxicant. I looked at her pupils and the slurring of words. I asked Christina if she had been drinking and she stated she had been," the detective reported in the charging document.
According to the probable cause statement, Gertin "made suicidal threats" and she was transported via ambulance to the hospital. The detective noted in the statement that he was present when Gertin was speaking with a Division of Family Services worker where she "made a spontaneous utterance" that she had placed the infant on a futon "face down."
The detective noted in the probable cause statement that during further investigation, Gertin's mother, Jill Rivera, told investigators that Gertin had also told her that she had placed the infant "face down on the futon."
Rivera is also quoted as saying that the baby "was always placed in his crib with a blanket on him at night" and that the placement on the futon was a "deviation from the normal sleep routine."
The detective wrote in the probable cause statement that he attended the autopsy of the infant and notice that the baby's lips looked like "they were pushed back as if his face had been laying on something."
"I also later observed the lungs of (the baby), which had very small dark spots on them. I asked the Medical Examiner about this and he would not commit to the exact cause of death, however, he did acknowledge the lips being pushed back and the spots on the lungs were indicators of possible pressure trying to breathe. Final autopsy results are pending," The detective wrote.
In a related case, Gertin's boyfriend, Theodore Webber, has been charged with one count of class D felony Tampering with a Witness and class D felony Burglary in the second degree for his alleged actions toward Gertin's mother, Rivera.
Webber has been accused of entering Rivera's residence without permission, after having been told previously he was not allowed on the property, and harassing Rivera.
Rivera is reported as telling the investigating officer that Webber "placed his hands on her arms and began shaking her." He allegedly said, "this just happened it just happened" and "you don't understand."
"Jill stated she felt harassed and scared for her safety while Theodore was inside the residence," The detective reported in the probable cause statement.
During questioning, the investigating officer reported that Webber "admitted" that "he did not have permission" to go to Rivera's residence.
"Webber did state while inside the residence he told Jill that she did not understand and these things happen. Webber denied shaking Jill but, stated he did give Jill a hug and tried to (lift) her head up with hand for Jill to look at him," the detective wrote in the probable cause statement.
The probable cause statement noted that Webber is "currently on probation and parole through Clarksville Tennesee for assault."
Webber is being held on a $50,000 bond and is facing between two and seven years in the Department of Corrections (DOC) for each of his charges. If he's convicted of the Tampering with a Witness charge, he won't be eligible for parole.
Gertin is being held on a $500,000 cash only bond and is facing bewteen 10 and 30 years for each of her charges. If she's convicted of the felony abuse or neglect charge, she won't be eligible for parole until she has served 85 percent of her sentence.
The Daily Guide will continue to follow this story as it develops.