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NH man charged in death of teen he shook as a baby

By Lynne Tuohy
Associated Press / August 21, 2012
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CONCORD, N.H.—A man who served prison time a decade ago for shaking an infant is now being charged in connection with the child's death four years ago at age 18.

Bruce Watson, 46, was charged Tuesday with reckless second-degree murder in the 2008 death of Brian Wiggin, who was four months old when Watson shook him hard enough to cause permanent brain damage. Watson pleaded guilty in 1991 to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 2 1/2 to seven years in prison.

Brian Wiggin died June 9, 2008, after 18 years of being unable to walk, talk, see or cry. A feeding tube nourished him and he suffered seizures daily.

Dr. Thomas Andrew, chief medical examiner, determined after an autopsy that Brian's death was a direct result of the injuries Watson inflicted on him as a baby. His death was ruled a homicide.

In 1989, Watson lived with Brian's mother, Tammy Wiggin, and baby-sat her two sons while she worked at a convenience store. Watson told police that on the night of the assault -- Dec. 20, 1989 -- Brian had started crying and wouldn't stop. He said he shook the baby until he stopped crying and then threw him onto a loveseat and heard a snap.

It was not immediately known whether Watson, a Bristol resident, has a lawyer.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell didn't immediately return calls seeking comment Tuesday. The statement by Attorney General Michael Delaney doesn't explain why Watson was arrested more than four years after Brian's death.

Watson in 2002 sought to have the conviction erased, which drew strong opposition from Tammy Wiggin and the Belknap County Attorney.

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