Editor's Note: This story was updated at 2 p.m.
A Melrose man accused of throwing his seven-week old child at the baby's mother—where it subsequently landed face-first onto concrete —was arraigned in Malden District Court today, with the court holding him without bail until a second hearing on the status of his release for next Tuesday.
Carlos Edwards, 33, allegedly threw the baby, Carmello Sears, during an argument with the baby’s mother outside her home on Cross Street in Malden, and faces charges of assault and battery on a child causing substantial body injury, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.
A spokesperson with the Middlesex District Attorney's Office explained that the sidewalk could be considered a dangerous weapon under the circumstances, given the intent and context with which the child was allegedly thrown.
The child's grandmother, Charlene Nickerson, told reporters outside of the court room that the infant's health remained in critical condition.
“It's just not right,” she said, tearing up.
Nickerson said that Edwards was arguing with her daughter around noon Wednesday, at the mother's home.
She said when Edwards allegedly left with the baby, the mother asked him to return their child to her custody.
“He said 'Here's your baby, and I hope you both die,'” Nickerson said, saying he then threw the child at his mother, where it landed onto the concrete outside of their home.
At least two witnesses saw the incident as they drove past the home, prosecutors said.
Nickerson said that her daughter was not in court, and had not left the side of her child at Massachusetts General Hospital. The injuries left the child with skull fractures on either side of it's head.
Nickerson said that the child remained in critical condition, but that doctors told her family children at that age can make “remarkable recoveries.”
In a press release, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said, “This is an extremely troubling case, where we allege a father forcibly threw his own 7-week-old son with reckless disregard for the child’s safety, resulting in substantial injuries to the baby.
“Children are our most vulnerable victims," Leone said, "and we will prosecute any offender who commits crimes against children, especially where that offender is supposed to care and protect the victim."
Edwards turned himself into police late yesterday afternoon, according to the DA's office. He was held without held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for Thursday, July 28.
His attorney, Cambridge-based Cheryl McGillivray, said she had not been given much time to go over the circumstances of the case with her client.
“I haven't had time to speak with him fully,” she said when asked if Edwards would pose a danger if released on bail.
Though visible by those outside of the courthouse as police led him in handcuff, McGillivray said she requested Edwards not show his face in the courtroom due to “civilian witnesses” who “allegedly saw something.”
“Its important that he have the protections of the constitution,” she said, without elaborating.
When another reporter asked if Edwards was concerned for his son's safety, McGillivray said she couldn't comment on privileged conversations with her clients.
“I am not absolutely certain he understands the import of these charges at this time,” she said. “This is not a man who has been through the system.”
McGillivray added that the charges could carry sentences as long as 20 years in jail.
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