RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man pleaded not guilty Monday to a second-degree murder charge in the death of his 2-year-old stepdaughter who died of injuries that one doctor said were as though she was held so tight ‘‘her skull cracked.’’
Dennis Duby, 31, of Poultney, was ordered held on $250,000 bail stemming from the Friday death of Dezirae Sheldon.
The Rutland Herald (http://bit.ly/1chkE2s ) reported that during Monday’s hearing in Vermont Superior Court in Rutland, Sandra Eastman, who is Duby’s wife and Dezirae’s mother, charged the defense table screaming ‘‘What did you do to my (expletive) baby?’’
Rutland County sheriff’s deputies stopped Eastman.
Last Wednesday, police received a call from the Rutland Regional Medical Center about an injured child in the emergency room. The child, Dezirae, was later taken to Dartmouth-Hitchcock in New Hampshire, where she died two days later.
An autopsy ‘‘revealed that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and manner of death was homicide,’’ police said.
Duby told investigators that he believed the child had fallen off a table and said he'd seen her fall from a toilet and a sink on Feb. 19. The autopsy found she had skull fractures.
‘‘It appeared that someone held her head so tight her skull cracked,’’ a doctor who treated Dezirae at Rutland Regional Medical Center told investigators
A message left for Duby’s lawyer was not immediately returned.
If convicted, Duby could be sentenced to life in prison.