Boy Dies Nearly 14 Years After Mom's Boyfriend Severely Shook Him as a Baby


Facebook/Shannon Marie Jordan

In 2005, Ohio mom Sierra Burton left her 5-month-old son, Carl Leggett, in the care of her boyfriend, Terry Stiles, who shook and slapped the infant so hard that it left him with permanent brain damage.

“I thought, at that time, I could trust him,” Burton told KCCI.

  • On May 18, Carl, now 14 years old, died from the injuries sustained from the abuse when he was just an infant.

    In addition to suffering from cerebral palsy and scoliosis, as well as being blind and deaf, the child spent five months of his life in a coma following the trauma. His grandmother, Shannon Jordan, said she would prepare 48 syringes a day to help manage the boy's pain.

    Carl died at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center on May 18 after years of suffering after being severely beaten when he was just 5 months old. According to family, the severity of the attack caused the previously healthy and happy baby's head to swell "three times normal size."

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  • “Carl’s life was nothing but pain, medications, hospital stays,” Jordan said. 

    Jordan posted a heartfelt tribute to her grandson on a fundraising memorial page

    “My little man has lost his fight. He passed away this evening at 6:01 p.m. while I held his little hand,” she wrote. “My heart is broken and my life will not be the same. Thank you for to those who have helped.”

  • Burton’s then-boyfriend, Terry Stiles, is free after serving eight years in prison for the crime.

    Carl’s death was ruled an “apparent homicide” by medical examiners, and a spokesperson for the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office tells People that prosecutors are examining the case to determine if additional criminal charges can be filed against Stiles. 

    Jordan says there is little doubt in their minds that Stiles is responsible for her grandson’s death and years of suffering

    “What he did to Carl is, I believe, the direct result why we don’t have Carl now,” Jordan told KCCI.

    The 2005 attack happened when Burton was asleep and Stiles was in charge of watching him. "We didn't get a chance to see him walk or anything," Burton said. "You just need to be careful who you bring around your kids. We thought, or I thought, at the time I could trust him." 

  • “If he never laid his hands on that baby, Carl would be a 14-year-old boy in school, playing Xbox, outside playing.”

    "We lost a precious soul and it's not fair because he didn't get the life he was supposed to have," Jordan said.

    Carl was be laid to rest on May 23. On his memorial page, his family wrote, “Rest In Perfection my sweet boy you are finally out of pain.”

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