Waukesha, WI (WDJT ) — A 42-year-old Waukesha man is now facing felony child abuse and murder charges in connection to the death of his six-year-old autistic stepson.
Carl Bookout is being held on a $500,000 bond at the Waukesha County Jail. Bookout originally told investigators the child injured himself after falling down the stairs.
Court documents say Bookout and the boy’s mother took their unresponsive and limp child to the hospital on July 17, just one day shy of the boy’s 6th birthday. An initial examination showed the boy had a severe skull fracture to his head, bruising on his body and a broken arm.
The family lived in an apartment at the 100 block of Cambridge Avenue.
Neighbors say they’re shocked to hear about such a horrific incident so close to where they live.
“We saw the police here a couple weeks ago and we were wondering about it,” said Eric Kaehler, who lives nearby.
”I was shocked,” said neighbor Dominic Sabbarese. “I’ve been in Waukesha for a couple years, and I really haven’t heard much of anything along these lines, so it just shocked me to hear about it.”
Investigators say Bookout initially told them the child fell down the stairs, but later on an autopsy report revealed the child had suffered blunt force trauma to his head.
Doctors said it would be impossible for the child to suffer severe injuries from a fall down the stairs.
”I’m a stepdad myself,” said Kaehler. “It makes it hard to even think of even touching your child like that. I mean the kid has no idea what it’s doing.”
An autopsy doctor said the boy’s injuries would have needed an extreme amount of force, comparing it to that of a slam against a concrete wall or a car crash.
The boy died during the early morning hours of July 20, just two days after his 6th birthday.
Neighbors say they wish it was a different turnout.
“If you’re angry, just, you know, step back and walk away, it’s not worth, you know, hitting a kid like that,” said Kaehler.
The boy’s mother told investigators she had been suspicious of Bookout causing injury to her child in the past.
In 2006 Bookout was found guilty of felony sexual assault of a child. Bookout is due back in court on Friday, August 2.