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Vt. stepdad charged in beating death of 2-year-old stepdaughter

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A stepdad from Poultney, Vt., 31-year-old Dennis Duby, was arrested and charged on Feb.23 with the second-degree murder his 2-year-old stepdaughter, Dezirae Sheldon.

According to Mass Live, detectives with the Vermont State Police say the child was beaten to death.

Little Dezirae was taken to the Rutland Hospital’s emergency room on Feb. 19 “exhibiting symptoms of a head injury.” After an initial evaluation, the child was immediately moved to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, N.H. for treatment.

The same day she was admitted to Rutland Hospital, an investigation into her injuries was undertaken by the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations. Officials with the Department of Children and Families and the Rutland State Attorney's Office also collaborated in the investigation.

Dezirae passed away at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover as a result of her injuries on Saturday, Feb. 22.

After a preliminary autopsy, the medical examiner reported that Dezirae “died from blunt force trauma to the head,” and listed her death as homicide.

Police are not commenting on what precipitated the injuries.

Dezirae’s stepfather is currently being detained at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility on $250,000 cash bail.

Duby is scheduled to appear in Rutland Superior Court for his arraignment on Feb. 24.

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