Parents charged in death of Brooksville newborn

Hernando County Sheriff's Office

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Hernando couple was charged in connection with the death of their newborn son.

Carson Abney was only 1-month-old when he died after suffering several rib fractures and blunt force trauma to the head.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office was called to Carson’s home on June 4 after his parents noticed he was limp and not breathing. He was taken to Bayfront Health Spring Hill, then transported to All Children’s Hospital where he died five days later.

A medical report showed there was blood on Carson’s brain and a considerable amount of brain swelling. Due to the extent of the injuries, his death was ruled a homicide.

Carson’s parents, Justine Vansant, 19, and Jesse Abney, 21, told detectives they had left the child in the crib to shower together. When they got out of the shower, they tried to feed Carson and noticed he was limp and not breathing.

Vansant’s uncle allegedly saw the couple go into the shower, but said Abney left the shower before Vansant.  He said Abney made a bottle for the infant and went into the bedroom. A short time later, Vansant left the shower, went to the bedroom and started screaming that the baby was not breathing.

Investigators found a green leafy substance on the nightstand and sprinkled all over Vansant and Abney’s bed. In a drawer of the nightstand, deputies located several pills, empty baggies, a glass pipe and rolling papers. The leafy substance tested positive for THC.

During the four-month investigation into Carson’s death, evidence was obtained to prove Abney was responsible.

He was taken into custody on Friday and charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. His bond was set to $30,000.

Vansant was also arrested and charged with child neglect. She’s being held at the Hernando County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

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