A 27-year-old San Bernardino man is expected to be charged today in the death of his 4-year-old son Wednesday, authorities said.
Harby Burden was arrested on suspicion of murder after police responded to a 911 call from the family's home on North Mountain Avenue early in the afternoon. The boy, Ausben Burden, was unconscious when police arrived and was pronounced dead at St. Bernardine Medical Center a short time later.
San Bernardino police said they believed Burden became enraged and struck his son multiple times after the child soiled his pants.
Police also arrested the child's mother, India Waller, 21, on suspicion of child endangerment because she never reported previous abuse to police, according to police spokesman Lt. Mark Garcia.
Child Protective Services took custody of the couple's year-old daughter, who was not harmed.
Garcia said investigators determined that Burden had a history of abusing the child but that it was never reported to San Bernardino police. He said he did not know how long the alleged abuse had gone on or how long the family lived in the area.
Cathy Cimbalo, head of the Department of Children's Services in San Bernardino County, said she could not discuss whether Child Protective Services had ever dealt with the family.
Garcia said officers had their first encounter with the family on the evening before the child's death. A neighbor had called police to complain about a loud argument at the Burden apartment. When officers arrived, Waller and Burden told police they had resolved the dispute, and police left.
Burden was on probation after pleading guilty in 2002 to having sex with a minor. He served at least 252 days in county jail, according to San Bernardino County court records.
When Burden was sentenced for the offense in October 2002, the court ordered him to pay welfare and medical costs and child support for Ausben, who was born the previous November. The minor whom Burden had sex with was not named, because victims of sexual crimes are protected.
The boy's death marked the 40th homicide in San Bernardino this year.