Mom charged in violent death of month-old son, dad charged with cruelty

Following a four-month investigation, the Vermont State Police has arrested the parents of a 1-month-old boy on charges related to the infant’s death in Swanton in August 2020, police reports say.

State police investigators were notified of the death of Leo Cushing at about 5 a.m. Aug. 1 inside the home he shared with his parents on Highgate Road in Swanton.

A subsequent autopsy by the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington identified the cause of death as subdural hemorrhage to the brain, and the manner of death was a homicide.

Investigation by the Vermont State Police determined that, while alone with her child, 28-year-old Stephanie Gero caused injuries to Leo Cushing prior to his death. In addition, investigators learned that Leo’s father, 36-year-old Matthew Cushing, was aware Stephanie Gero was prohibited from being alone with the infant, but that he allowed her to be with the child unsupervised while he was taking a shower.

The investigation was reviewed by the Franklin County State’s Attorney’s Office, and as a result, prosecutors determined that Stephanie Gero would be charged with first-degree aggravated domestic assault, and cruelty to a child with death resulting. Prosecutors also determined that Matthew Cushing would face a charge of cruelty to a child with death resulting.

Stephanie Gero and Matthew Cushing were taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 2, 2020, and processed at the St. Albans Barracks. Stephanie Gero was ordered jailed on $25,000 bail at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility in South Burlington pending arraignment at 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in St. Albans. Matthew Cushing was processed and released on a citation to appear at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 22, 2020, at Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, in St. Albans.

The Vermont State Police was assisted in the investigation by the Northwest Unit for Special Investigations, the Vermont Department for Children and Families, and the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.

No further information is currently available. The affidavit of probable cause will be filed with the court and made public following Stephanie Gero’s arraignment.

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