Teen parents charged with abuse of 3-month-old son

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By Sarah Bennett

Two Elizabethtown teens are charged with criminal abuse after police say their 3-month-old son was found malnourished and suffering from multiple injuries.


Alexander M. Irwin, 18, and Jessica A. Capponi, 19, were arrested Wednesday morning in Elizabethtown. Both are charged with first-degree criminal abuse while Irwin faces an additional count of first-degree assault.

Elizabethtown Police responded just after 5 p.m. Tuesday to Ireland Army Community Hospital in reference to an abused infant, according to a news release.

Spokesman Virgil Willoughby said the parents, Irwin and Capponi, took the child to the hospital for treatment of an injury.

Police said the child eventually was taken to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, where the boy was found to have a fractured skull, multiple broken ribs, a broken femur and multiple bruises.

According to a citation, medical staff also discovered the 3-month-old weighed 4 ounces less than he did at birth.

Willoughby said the boy was visibly malnourished.

According to a citation, Irwin told police he was caring for the child when the baby “fell out of his arms and hit the floor.”

A doctor at Kosair told police the child showed numerous injuries in various stages of healing across his body, according to the citation.

Before Monday, the boy had not seen a doctor since a few days after he was born, police said.

The teens are lodged at Hardin County Detention Center where Irwin is being held in lieu of $50,000 cash bond and Capponi, $25,000 partially secured.

They were arraigned via video feed Wednesday in Hardin District Court and are scheduled to appear March 8 for a preliminary hearing.

Willoughby said Elizabethtown Police had not received any complaints about the parents before Tuesday.

According to court records, Capponi does not have a criminal history in Hardin County.

Irwin was convicted of shoplifting in September and was sentenced to 40 hours of community service, according to records.

First-degree criminal abuse is a Class C felony, which is punishable by five to 10 years in prison if convicted, according to Kentucky Revised Statutes.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at (270) 505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.