War veteran in court on charges of injuring infant son

Posted: 05/13/13 at 7:45 am EDT      Last Updated: 05/13/13 at 11:08 pm EDT

LOWELL, Mass. (WHDH) -- A war veteran accused of severely injuring his 2-month-old son was arraigned Monday.

Christopher Barry, 22, was charged with assault and battery on a child, causing substantial bodily injury on his 2-month-old son. Doctors said the child’s injuries were not consistent with an accident.

Barry was arrested Sunday at his Lowell home after police and paramedics were called to the home for an unresponsive child. Barry’s son was rushed to the hospital and is listed in critical condition. Authorities say they don’t expect the child to live.

“His prognosis is extremely poor, and if he does survive, he will never breath on his own and never have any purposeful movement,” said Katharine Folger, prosecutor.

Barry eventually confessed to hurting his son after giving conflicting statements.

“He later admitted to the police that he had been stressed out that morning, that he had gotten frustrated with his 9-week-old son, that he took him into his hands and shook him for about 30 seconds,” Folger said. “His son then immediately went limp and became unresponsive.”

“My boyfriend told me yesterday he heard the baby crying one day when he was dropping me off at work and then he just was wondering why the baby was crying,” said Inez Elder, a neighbor.

Barry has a history with police. In 2011, during Hurricane Irene, he was charged with animal cruelty after he allegedly lured pigeons with bird seed and then ran them over. The Lowell Sun reports Barry was also accused of breaking and entering, larceny and assaulting his girlfriend.

Barry’s attorney says he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after he served in Afghanistan, where his vehicle was blown up by a suicide bomber. The attorney said Barry had no prior criminal record before he went to Afghanistan.

Barry is being held $500,000 bail.

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