Fall River Man Who Shook Baby to Death Denied Parole
FALL RIVER — More than 15 years after getting a life sentence for murder, a Fall River man who killed his infant son by shaking and hitting him in 2007 has been denied parole.
Christopher Cerce was 30 years old when he struck his seven-month-old son James Cerce in the head and shook him, causing a brain injury that ultimately led to the boy's death.
The Massachusetts Parole Board conducted an initial parole hearing last year and issued their decision to deny Cerce parole on Jan. 19.
Cerce had previously been sentenced to 18 months in jail on a motor vehicle homicide conviction in 1999.
On April 17, 2007, Cerce was home alone with the baby and his three-year-old daughter while his girlfriend, the children's mother, was at work.
James Cerce reportedly suffered brain hemorrhaging and was placed on a respirator at the hospital after the incident. He died just over a month later.
Following James' death, Cerce pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
In its Jan. 19 decision, the state parole board said Cerce has a "very concerning criminal history" and has racked up seven disciplinary reports during his prison term.
Cerce was previously charged for reckless and drunk driving following a fatal crash in which his friend was reportedly killed after being ejected from the vehicle and pinned under the car.
He has also failed to engage in rehabilitative programming from 2012 until 2021, despite his history of addiction, according to parole board members.
Board members voted unanimously to deny Cerce parole, with another parole hearing scheduled in 2025.