Couple charged with murder of their second child, as death of their first child is investigated

BAKERSFIELD, CALIF - A couple accused of murdering their 18-day-old baby made their first court appearance Tuesday. It's the story we first broke last night, after 17's Olivia LaVoice spoke with the baby's father behind bars. 

The young homeless couple briefly faced a judge, Tuesday afternoon, in the case of the alleged murder of their second child. Meanwhile, investigators in Kansas continue looking into the sudden death of the couple's first child. 

With hands and feet shackled-Gage and Debra Roberts, both 22, saw each other for the first time since the married couple was arrested Friday. Gage Roberts told the Judge he doesn't want an attorney if it means he would have to go up against his wife on the stand. The judge urged him to get an attorney for now-and figure the rest out later. 

The couple is facing charges of second-degree murder and cruelty to a child, in the death of their infant son Crimson, who died at the Downtowner Hotel in April 2016. 

Police reports state detectives felt Gage Roberts' story of waking up with his baby in bed and finding him not breathing-was inconsistent with the infant's bluish appearance. 

Officers also took note that the couple had a 6-moth-old baby die in 2015, in Kansas, in a "strikingly similar" way. 

Gage Roberts told us the coroner in Kansas ruled the first baby's death as "sudden infant death syndrome." The cause of death for their second child, in 2016, was ruled "smothering" by the Kern County Coroner, who also ruled the manner of death undetermined. But prosecutors feel there's still enough evidence to charge the couple with the child's murder. 

Gage Roberts told us he and his wife never hurt either baby-and the death of their second child in 2016 is another unexplainable tragedy. 

17 News asked Roberts how he thought their second child died, to which he responses "I don't know...if anything one of us accidentally rolled over on him, but we're both sensitive sleepers enough to where we would've woke up." 

As we continue to learn more about the couple's life in Kansas, we obtained an "offense report", stating the couple's first child, 6-month-old Camden, was listed as "endangered", four days before his death.

Again, to make the timeline clear-the couple's first child, 6-month-old Camden, died suddenly in November 2015 in Kansas. In April 2016, their second baby, 18-day-old Crimson, died suddenly in Bakersfield. And just last Thursday, the couple had a third child, who was placed into protective custody. The next day, Bakersfield Police arrested them for the 2016 death of their second child. 

Gage and Debra Roberts arraignment was postponed until August 1. 

 


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