Berkshire D.A.’s Office Secures Indictments In Infant Death
According to a press release from the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, indictments were secured for an Adams couple on involuntary manslaughter charges and reckless endangerment of a child charges regarding the February 18, 2020, death of infant Kristoff Zenopolous.
On Thursday, April 8, the court arraigned Matthew Tucker and Cassandra Barlow-Tucker, both 37 years old. They were both released on personal recognizance with the condition that they follow all requirements set by the Department of Children and Families.
A motion was also approved by the court for the Berkshire D.A.'s Office to share the investigation with the Office of the Child Advocate.
Back on the morning of February 18, 2020, the 10-month old Kristoff was discovered deceased in his crib. The Tuckers were the foster parents of the child.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy after Adams Ambulance Services pronounced the child dead on the scene.
It was determined that the infant showed visible signs of illness for at least two weeks prior to his death while in the care of the Tuckers. It was also determined that the infant died from complications from strep A, pneumonia, and the resulting build-up of pus in his lungs.
Prosecutors presented evidence showing that antibiotics routinely treat these underlying illnesses and that the Tucker's failure to obtain medical care caused the infant to develop widespread infection and the buildup of fluid and a collapsed lung.
Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington issued this statement:
I send my deepest condolences to Kristoff's family who is devastated by this loss. His death was preventable and I thank the Grand Jury for their careful deliberation and returning these indictments so that my office may obtain justice for Kristoff....We should never see another child in Massachusetts die because a caregiver failed to provide basic medical care.
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