An O’Fallon man was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his 54-day-old baby boy.
Joel B. Bundt, 24, was charged on Wednesday in connection with the death of his infant son, Quinten David.
The baby’s mother, Carol “Duenan” David, who is still dating Bundt, doubts he would have hurt the baby.
“Joel is loyal and good-hearted and loving and gentle. He would not hurt Quinten,” she said.
The charges state that Bundt “inflicted a traumatic brain injury to David, knowing such an act created the strong probability of death.”
O’Fallon Police were contacted on June 20 at about 4 p.m.by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, which was contacted by Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, said O’Fallon Police Lt. Kerry Andrews.
“That’s when our investigation began,” Andrews said.
Baby Quinten suffered “multiple brain bleeds,” according to Andrews. The baby spent four weeks at Children’s Hospital receiving life-saving medical care but died on July 19.
“The investigation continued and multiple interviews were conducted,” Andrews stated in a written press release. “It was determined that Joel B. Bundt ... was responsible for inflicting a traumatic brain injury to Quinten David, ultimately causing his death.”
Baby Quinten was born May 25 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Clayton, Mo. He was 6 weeks early and was breech. He was delivered during an emergency Cesarean section.
Carol Wright, Quinten’s maternal grandmother, lives in Farmington, New Mexico. She said she was shocked by the murder charges against Bundt.
“It’s terrible,” she said.
She said Bundt is a good man who doted on her daughter during the pregnancy and doted on Baby Quinten.
“She’s lost her baby son and the love of her life,” Wright said. “This has been so hard on her.”
David, the mother of the child, said Bundt is not a violent person.
“Joel would not hurt our son. He would not hurt a fly, and everyone that knows him knows that,” she said.
Bundt, who has no previous felony convictions, was being held in St. Clair County Jail on Thursday morning on $150,000 bail.
“The state’s attorney’s office has been working with the child-death task force and charges were issued yesterday by Assistant State’s Attorney Bernadette Schrempp,” said St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly. Kelly declined further comment.
Other baby-death cases in St. Clair County:
▪ In 2008, Kenneth Zook was charged with first-degree murder in the shaking death of 5-month-old Alayna Frazier. During trial testimony, Zook admitted that he and Alayna’s mother, Kayla Frazier, went to St. Louis to buy heroin. They injected the heroin on the way home with Alayna and Frazier’s toddler daughter, Isabella, in the back seat, Zook told police. He was convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison.
▪ In 2012, Torrance Rogers was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the shaking death of his daughter Taylor Pinkas. Taylor was 2 months old in 1999 when Rogers lifted her over his head and shook her after the baby did not stop crying. Rogers was initially sentenced to 15 years on attempted aggravated battery, but when Taylor died 10 years after the assault as a complication from her earlier injuries, prosecutors sought a murder charge in the case.