North Carolina parents face murder charges after child they abused 20 years ago dies

The biological parents of a 22-year-old man with disabilities who died are now facing murder charges. (WTVD)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. — The biological parents of a 22-year-old man with disabilities who died last month are now facing murder charges in connection with his death, WTVD reports.

The charges come about 20 years after 45-year-old David Raeford Tripp Jr. and 41-year-old Robyn Lynn Noffsinger served time for abusing their son, David Stewart.

Authorities say the brutal injuries Tripp and Noffsinger inflicted on David resulted in his death. He was diagnosed with battered child syndrome.

A court document listed the gruesome condition he was in when he arrived at the hospital 20 years ago.

A doctor testified that he observed, “that the child was not breathing, that he had a head fracture, abnormal pupil response, facial bruising, deformity on an arm and a leg, and a burned area in the diaper region, and that the child was having seizures.”

He was later adopted by a Durham couple.

David couldn’t walk, talk, or do much on his own, but he was able to play baseball with the help of a “buddy” at the Miracle League

“He was always happy. And for someone that went through as much as he did in his life, for him to always be happy. I just feel like that was a really good lesson for adults,” his coach Kellie said.

Tripp and Noffsinger are being held on $1 million bonds. The state is considering the death penalty in the case.