This week, Travis Anderson was found guilty of child abuse resulting in death and manslaughter in relation to the passing of his three-week old child -- and the evidence put forward against him could hardly have been more damning. Authorities say he stole some tools and then looked up info about his booty on a computer while the child lay dying.
The Travis Anderson statement of probable cause catalogs the horrendous injuries that took the life of Sean Anderson, who was just twenty days old. They included "bruises over most of the child's scalp; a possible burn on his face; a possible burn on his foot; a large fracture of the back of the child's skull on the left side" and "a second skull fracture on the right side."
According to the document, Anderson's father said he spent several hours with his son and grandson on December 14 and the child seemed fine at the time. Crystal Eccleston, Sean's mother, made similar observations after returning from what was described as a "court-mandated class." Afterward, Travis picked her up, with Sean in a car seat. She didn't look at the boy then, but when she removed him from the car seat, she noticed that the baby was visibly injured.
Eccleston told investigators that Travis denied doing anything to the child, then "left to steal some tools from Hi-Tech, a company he still has building keys for." This mission took him around an hour, and upon his return, he and Crystal fed Sean and "tried to keep him awake and calm" -- a seemingly contradictory statement compounded by Eccleston's earlier description of the child as looking "ashen gray" and "pale."
So... did they belatedly race the baby to the emergency room? Nope. The probable cause doc states that Anderson "spent time on the Internet researching the tools he had stolen while Crystal removed the stickers from the boxes containing the tools."
Oh yeah: Anderson also used his computer to look up "what could possibly cause injuries," expressing concern that others could suspect them of abusing the child.
Earlier this year, Eccleston pleaded guilty to charges relating to her failure to seek medical care for the child and was sentenced to fourteen years in stir. Anderson will learn about his own prison jolt in January.
Look below to see booking photos of Anderson and Eccleston, as well as the entire probable cause statement and a release from the Denver District Attorney's Office:
Denver District Attorney's Office release:
GUILTY VERDICT IN BABY'S DEATH
A Denver jury has returned guilty verdicts today against a man accused in the death of his 3-week-old son.
Travis Anderson (dob: 06-12-83) was found guilty of child abuse resulting in death (F2) and manslaughter (F4). (He had originally been charged with first-degree murder (F1) and child abuse resulting in death (F2).)
The charges alleged that last December, Anderson brutally beat his infant son, Sean Anderson and that the child's mother, Crystal Eccleston, contributed to the baby's death through her failure to seek care for the child. Eccleston (dob: 03-07-82) pleaded guilty earlier this year to child abuse resulting in death (F3) and is serving a 14-year term in the Colorado Department of Corrections.
Anderson is scheduled to appear in Denver District Court for sentencing on January 13, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. He faces up to 48 years in prison.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Just in time for the holidays -- a horrific child abuse story."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.