Tension filled a New London courtroom Wednesday as the family of a 2-month-old baby who died after being violently shaken confronted the family of the accused.
According to police, Adam Browne, 24, was watching his son, Jovanni, at their apartment on Crystal Avenue on Oct. 25. Jovanni started crying. After repeated attempts to make Jovanni stop crying didn't work, police said Browne shook him.
Browne told police he grabbed Jovanni under both arms and shook him five or six times. In court documents, he described how Jovanni's head bounced back and forth.
Court papers revealed Browne told police the baby boy immediately went limp. Browne went out of the room to calm himself down. When he returned, Jovanni still wasn't responding, so he called police.
Browne was arrested and initially charged with risk of injury to a minor and first-degree assault.
Jovanni died a few days later.
"I hate you. You murdered my son," the child's grandmother, Melissa Watrous, yelled out in New London Superior Court.
Browne appeared in New London Superior Court Wednesday where he pleaded not guilty. Browne never raised his head during the appearance.
His family sat a few feet away from him. The victim's mother, Margaret Chapman, and her relatives were also in court and the two families almost came to blows.
"Baby killer, how can you support someone that took a 2 1/2-month-old baby's life?" Chapman asked.
People at the court appearance heard the outburst between families where Judge Hillary Strachbein preceded. When Browne was taken back out, his bond was raised to $1 million and ordered to be on a suicide watch.
"That's all we want is justice," Chapman said.
"Justice for Jovanni, that's all we want," Watrous said.
Chapman and her extended family members said they'll be back at New London Superior Court next month for Browne's next court appearance.
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