CBurg parents charged with felony child endangerment after infant found to have hemorrhages, skull fractures

28 November 2022- A cardiac arrest of an infant in July of this year in Chambersburg turns up a child who doctors say was severely abused. Stefan Sterling and Kursti Nelson are both charged with two counts of felony child endangerment, with Nelson also being charged with one count of aggravated assault. Sterling and Nelson are both behind bars on $150,000 each.

Just before 9am on July 26th, CPD officers responded to a home on S Main Street in Chambersburg to reports of an infant in cardiac arrest. Chambersburg Fire arrived before and began treating the victim. After initial treatment, the infant was transported to Chambersburg hospital where a CT scan found a subdural hemorrhage in the left front portion of her brain. Doctors described the injury as from being shaken or dropped.

After talking to doctors, CPD interviewed Kursti Nelson, who allegedly said she was feeding the infant in the morning when she began “fighting” Nelson and “wouldn’t work with me”. Nelson said her boyfriend, Stefan Sterling, came in to help but Nelson said that there was something wrong and police should be called. Interviews with Sterling found a similar set of events, culminating in their infant child having breathing that was “labored and gurgling”, compared by Sterling to someone that was just knocked out. Sterling allegedly told police the manner in which they fed the child. They allegedly described that they placed the victim in a boppy pillow and surrounded her with stuffed animals to prop the bottle up to feed her. They would then leave the room to have the victim feed on her own.

Nelson and Sterling allowed police to photograph their apartment afterword. Police describe the home in court documents as “unsanitary living conditions”, with extreme clutter, trash and debris strewn throughout the apartment. This allegedly included where both of their children slept, with the bassinette of one child having several partially filled bottles.

The victim was flown to Hershey Medical where doctors found bilateral multilayered retinal hemorrhages and a healing left distal radial metaphyseal buckle fracture. The diagnosis on these injuries from doctors was allegedly that the child was physically and repeatedly abused.

Sterling and Nelson are behind bars on $150,000 each. Their preliminary hearings are set for December 6th.

Sources: Docket Number: MJ-39201-CR-0000384-2022, Docket Number: MJ-39201-CR-0000383-2022, Complaint/Incident Number: C2022-08707