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Father reaches plea agreement in case of dead Penacook baby

  • Appearing via a live video feed, Bradford Ross is arraigned in district court in Concord on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Ross and Kayla Austin each face felony charges of negligent homicide, manslaughter and prohibited conduct in connection with the death of their infant son in Penacook in August 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

  • Appearing via a live video feed, Bradford Ross, 25, is arraigned in district court in Concord on Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Ross and Kayla Austin each face felony charges of negligent homicide, manslaughter and prohibited conduct in connection with the death of their infant son in Penacook in August 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz



Monitor staff
Friday, January 05, 2018

A father accused in the death of his 2-month-old son in Penacook in summer 2016 has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

Bradford Ross, 25, is scheduled to appear in Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord on Jan. 17 for a plea and sentencing hearing.

Ross was set to face a judge Wednesday for a bail hearing; however, that hearing was canceled at the request of attorneys, and the sentencing date scheduled instead.

Ross is charged with manslaughter and negligent homicide in the death of his son, Cayden Ross. He also faces two counts each of possession of a controlled drug and endangering the welfare of a child, in addition to one count each of possession with intent to distribute and prohibited conduct.

The state medical examiner determined that Cayden died Aug. 1, 2016, of methamphetamine intoxication. Toxicology results revealed methamphetamine in the infant’s blood and liver.

Authorities allege drugs were in the travel camper where Ross lived with Cayden’s mother, Kayla Austin. The camper was on property owned by Austin’s grandfather at 54 Penacook St., and it’s where the couple had lived for about two weeks prior to the infant’s death.

Austin is facing the same criminal charges as Ross. She is scheduled to stand trial in late May on charges stemming from the death of her son. A separate trial on the drug charges is tentatively scheduled to start in late August and continue into the first week of September.

Ross is being held for lack of $50,000 bail at the Merrimack County jail in Boscawen. Late last year, he had asked the court to revisit his bail conditions to allow him to participate in an intensive outpatient drug treatment program. The court tabled the bail request this month as a result of successful plea negotiations.

As of Friday afternoon, court records did not provide any information about the plea agreement.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)