Mother's boyfriend pleads not guilty to 2nd-degree murder in death of 2-year-old boy


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SHELBURNE, Vermont — A Shelburne man charged with second-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old son pleaded not guilty Friday.

Joshua M. Blow, 26, was arrested a day earlier in the death Aiden Haskins. Chittenden County State's Attorney T.J. Donovan said the child died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck, skull fractures and broken vertebrae.

Shelburne police were called to the home early Tuesday. Aiden was taken to the hospital and later pronounced dead. Blow was home alone with the child when he was injured, Donovan said.

"This was not an accident," Donovan said. "This was intentional."

Donovan said Blow gave five different accounts of what happened but never denied being responsible for Aiden's death. It was not clear if Blow had an attorney.

Aiden's death is the third of a child aged 2 or younger in Vermont this year from alleged abuse. The stepfather of Dezirae Sheldon of Poultney and the mother of Winooski's Peighton Geraw — who had previously been in state custody — have each pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.

The deaths underline the need for more effort to identify at-risk situations and help parents who might have drug or other problems to prevent child abuse, Donovan told the Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/1lEEF7x).

"Everybody in this state should be outraged," Donovan said. "I think what we're seeing is some consequences of not being as proactive as we should."

The Department for Children and Families had been in contact with Aiden's mother at the time of his birth but not afterward, Donovan said.

Blow has "a history of drugs," but it was not clear if he was using drugs when Aiden was injured, Donovan said.

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