UNION, Mo. — An eastern Missouri man is charged in the death of his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.

Twenty-three-year-old Austin Stonebarger, of Union, is jailed on $500,000 bond in Franklin County on one count of first-degree murder. Union police say emergency responder attempted CPR on the boy early Saturday but that he was pronounced dead at a hospital. Police say there were bruises on the boy’s body and that he had been left with Stonebarger for most of the day.

Police say Stonebarger gave inconsistent stories before admitting that he pushed the child, causing him to hit his head. Police say he also admitted to disciplining the child the day before, causing bruising.

Police say Stonebarger had been using methamphetamine. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.