Virginia Foster Child’s Death Ruled an Accident; Foster Father Charged

The death of a baby in the care of a foster family in Stafford County has been ruled an accident.

Authorities say the baby, Ka'ron Mason, was burned while being bathed by his foster father, 33-year-old David John Marcussen, earlier this year. A spokesman for the Stafford County Sheriff's office said Mason was hospitalized Jan. 6 after Marcussen bathed the child.

Mason had burns to his face, torso and neck when he arrived at a local hospital, authorities said. He was then airlifted to MCV Hospital in Richmond, where he died Feb. 1 at 12 months old.

The Free Lance-Star reports that the state medical examiner's office in Richmond has listed the child's death as the result of complications from thermal injuries. It concluded the manner of death an accident.

On April 17, a grand jury returned an indictment against 33-year-old David John Marcussen, charging him with felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, child neglect and two counts of cruelty to children.

Marcussen, of Fredericksburg, was released Thursday from the Rappahannock Regional Jail after a judge granted his request for bond and set conditions for his release.

Mason had been in the legal custody of the Fredericksburg Department of Social Services since shortly after his birth, when a judge determined it would be in his best interest, the Fredericksburg Department of Social Services said Wednesday.

He had been with his foster family since July 2014. His foster parents had "passed the stringent selection and training criteria required by our agency," the agency said in a statement.

Virginia's Child Fatality Review Team will examine the case after any criminal or administrative hearings have been completed, said the Fredericksburg Department of Social Services.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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