In 2012, a North Carolina father faced arrest on a felony child abuse charge for violently shaking his 3-week-old son. The following year, he received a 45-day jail sentence for the offense, leaving the child with lasting medical disabilities and leading to his placement in foster care, as reported by various sources including Greensboro News & Record, Fox 8, and WFMY.
A decade later, on May 22, 2023, Sterling Cummings, now 33 years old, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse in relation to the death of his second child.
According to court documents obtained by WFMY, Cummings was caring for his 3-month-old son in May 2021 while the child’s mother was briefly absent. Upon her return, she discovered that the baby was not breathing and immediately called emergency services.
The infant was rushed to the hospital but tragically succumbed to the ordeal. The documents revealed findings of retinal hemorrhaging and an abnormal MRI.
During the subsequent investigation, Greensboro police noted inconsistencies in Cummings’ statements, leading them to suspect foul play in the baby’s demise, according to the Greensboro News & Record. Authorities later declared the death a homicide.
Notably, the infant’s mother is not currently facing any charges, as reported by the outlet. Authorities in Greensboro acknowledged Cummings’ history of abuse, including the 2012 incident involving his first child in Moore County, as per WFMY.
The first child, who has since been adopted by another couple, now lives with visual impairment and cerebral palsy due to the previous abuse, according to court documents cited by the outlet.
Tracy Trepcyk, the adoptive mother of the first child, described Cummings as “very manipulative” and a “sociopath” during the recent court appearance alongside her partner, Allan Trepcyk, in Guilford County. Tracy expressed no surprise at Cummings’ return to legal custody.
“We tried to tell everybody that he was going to do this again,” she disclosed to Fox 8. Allan conveyed his feelings of disbelief and emphasized the dangerous nature of Cummings, asserting that he needs to be incarcerated for the safety of others.
Cummings is scheduled to appear in court again on July 6, as reported by WFMY. It remains unclear whether he has entered a plea or secured legal representation to speak on his behalf.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.