Cleveland Co man charged with murder in baby's death is an 'evil coward,' sheriff says

Cleveland Co man charged with murder in baby's death is an 'evil coward,' sheriff says

KINGS MOUNTAIN, NC (WBTV) - A Kings Mountain man has been charged with murder in the death of a 7-month-old baby.

According to the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, deputies went to a home on Ferguson Drive around 9 p.m. on Sunday due to a cardiac arrest call. When they arrived, they reportedly found a mother who was performing CPR on her son.

The woman told deputies that she and her boyfriend left the child with an acquaintance while they went out for dinner. When the couple returned home nearly 30 minutes later, the acquaintance, identified as 24-year-old Garrett Frederick, told the couple that there "was something wrong with the baby," deputies said.

Deputies say Frederick did not call 911 or anyone else to get the child medical assistance.

Once the baby's mother called 911, Frederick allegedly fled from the home, according to the sheriff's office. He reportedly had outstanding warrants for his arrest.

The baby was unconscious when he was taken to Carolinas HealthCare Systems in Kings Mountain, deputies say. The child was then airlifted to the Levine's Children's Hospital in Charlotte. Deputies said the baby had trauma-related injuries and would likely be "brain-dead" if he survived.

The baby then died a few days later. Frederick was then arrested Tuesday afternoon after an "intensive day-and-a-half-long manhunt," deputies say.

He was charged with first-degree murder and was taken to the Cleveland County Detention Center. He did not receive a bond, according to the sheriff's office.

Frederick was wanted on warrants for probation violation in Buncombe County, deputies say.

Sheriff Alan Norman released this statement:

"Anyone who would do this to an innocent, defenseless baby is an evil coward. My faith tells me that he will have a day of reckoning in front of the Almighty, once his time on this earth is over. In the meantime, our detectives will put together a case that ensures he is held accountable to the laws of this state, and he will not be able to do this to any other defenseless victims. During the course of our work, our deputies sometimes see the worst of what humans can do to each other. We take some small satisfaction from the fact that we can hold the perpetrators of pure evil acts accountable."

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