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Toddler brain dead, babysitter charged

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A 2-year-old boy has been left brain dead from a beating allegedly inflicted by a 17-year-old baby sitter who was watching the toddler at a Marilla trailer park on Friday,  according to authorities, relatives and friends of the boy’s family.

Devon Vanderwege, the baby sitter, has been charged with first-degree assault by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and is being held at the county holding center without bail. When the child is taken off life support, he could face manslaughter or homicide-related charges, a police official said.

Ethan Bigham, the child, remains on life support until his organs can be donated, according to a cousin of the boy’s mother.

A family friend, who was at Women & Children’s Hospital this past weekend to offer support to the boy’s relatives, described a gruesome aftermath from the attack.


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