On the night paramedics attempted to resuscitate 17-month-old Sean Buttery Jr., his mother Stacey Schuchart told them he had become unresponsive after hitting his head on the microwave.
What the coroner found later looked more like the aftermath of a car crash, Judge Karen Thomas said at Schuchart’s Wednesday morning arraignment.
Sean did have a head wound at the time of his Aug. 6 death at Children’s Hospital, Thomas said. He also had fractures on both sides of his pelvis and throughout the rest of his skeleton. His bladder was detached and bleeding into his torso.
The paramedics who attempted to save him “observed lacerations that had scabbed over as well as bruises of varying colors across the boy’s body,” Thomas told the court.
“The coroner reports that these injuries are unlike anything she’s ever witnessed to occur to an accident at home and are consistent with a level of trauma expected in a serious car accident,” she said.
The boy had plainly been beaten to death, she added. Investigators charged Schuchart after ruling out other possible culprits, including Buttery's father and three-year-old sister.
Schuchart pleaded not guilty to manslaughter at her hearing. Her bond will remain at $1 million.