Spokane father accused of killing 3-week-old son

A Spokane father has been charged with homicide by abuse following the death of his 3-week-old son. Erik Sherman, 33, appeared in Spokane District Court Friday afternoon.

According to court documents, the infant’s mother woke up Aug. 5 and realized the baby was not in his crib. She found Sherman holding the baby in their bathroom, with blood coming from the infant’s mouth. Sherman claimed the baby hit its head on his shoulder.

Following the injury, on Aug. 7, Sherman was holding the 3-week-old when it stopped breathing, according to court documents. The couple rushed the infant to Holy Family Hospital – it was later airlifted to Providence Sacred Heart.

According to the documents, a doctor who examined the baby said it was the worst case of child abuse he had seen in his 23 year career. The infant had a broken collar bone and bruises all over its body. Neurological exams were completed and each confirmed serious brain injury with no brain activity. The baby died on Aug. 10 after doctors removed a ventilator.

Following an autopsy, the Spokane County Medical Examiner concluded “subdural hemorrhage of the brain due to blunt impact of the head,” to be the cause of death. The manner of death was ruled to be a homicide.

Investigators interviewed Sherman’s 15-year-old daughter who lives with him part-time. She told police that she heard her father yelling at the infant on July 31, telling him, “he didn’t like his attitude.” She also heard Sherman repeatedly telling the baby to stop crying and that it was unacceptable. Sherman’s daughter also reported hearing him say he didn’t care how old the baby was, he needed to stop crying, according to court documents.

Kxly spoke to Sherman’s neighbors. Susan Wendt said the couple seemed like a good family. Wendt said she even offered to watch the baby anytime the parents needed a break.

A judge set Sherman’s bond at $500,000. No one else has been charged in the baby’s death.