A New Hampshire man was sentenced on Monday to at least six months in jail for endangering the life of a newborn baby after the daughter of Baseball Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley gave birth in the woods last year in subfreezing temperatures.
George Theberge pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor child endangerment charge after he reached a deal with prosecutors. He received an additional six months behind bars for a probation violation stemming from his arrest in January and a drug charge.
Theberge was identified as the boyfriend of 26-year-old Alexandra Eckersley, according to a police affidavit. The woman is accused of abandoning her son without heat or proper clothing. She was accused of misleading police after giving birth in a tent. She pleaded not guilty to assault, reckless conduct and other charges. Her trial begins next year.
Her lawyer said her client did not know she was pregnant, gave birth alone, called 911 and led police to the baby. The lawyer said Eckersley suffered medical complications. The lawyer said Eckersley has finished rehabilitation programs, is sober and sees her son on regular visits.
The Eckersley family said they had no knowledge their daughter was pregnant at the time. They said she’s suffered from “severe mental illness her entire life” and did their best to get her help and support.
Eckersley suffered from drug problems and mental health issues for some time, according to a 2019 profile of her in the Concord Monitor. Her family told the outlet at the time that they have been “devoted to her health and wellbeing” and attempted to get her help “throughout her life.”
The Hall of Fame closer played for five teams from 1975 to 1998. He was a six-time All-Star, MVP, Cy Young winner and a World Series champion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.