Babysitter arrested in death of N. Fayette 5-month-old

Stephen Anthony Haire, 22, of Franklin is accused of mistreating a five-month-old Fayette child who died Feb. 25 when he was taken off life support.

A Franklin man has been charged in connection with the death a 5-month-old north Fayette child after statements he made to investigators were inconsistent with the child’s injuries.

Fayette County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Brent Rowan said investigators on Feb. 25 arrested Steven Anthony Haire, 22, of Franklin, in connection with the death of Zachery Freeman, age 5 months, related to an incident that occurred at a residence on West Lane in north Fayette County.

Fayette investigator’s have charged Haire with first degree cruelty to children, Rowan said, adding that additional charges are expected.

Rowan said Haire was a friend of the family and was babysitting the child at the time of the incident.

Rowan said on Feb. 21 sheriff’s deputies along with Fayette County EMS responded to a home on West Lane in reference to a 5-month-old child who was not breathing. Haire told deputies the child stopped breathing after he laid the child down with a bottle to take a nap, Rowan said.

Fayette investigator’s working with the doctor’s at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta determined that the child’s injuries were not consistent with the statements given by Haire at the time of the incident, said Rowan.

Rowan said emergency workers at the scene performed CPR on the child who was then transported to Piedmont Fayette Hospital and later life-flighted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Pediatric Hospital. The 5-month-old was placed on life support when he arrived at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Rowan said. On Feb. 25 the child was taken off of life support and died at 7:01 p.m., Rowan said.

Haire was later arrested in connection with the child’s death and he is currently in the Fayette County Jail.