Dad Spent 45 Days in Jail a Decade Ago for Shaking His 1st Baby. Now He's Charged with Murdering His 2nd Son

Sterling Cummings is charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse in connection with the death of his 3-month-old son

Sterling Cummings mugshot
Sterling Cummings.Photo:

Greensboro Police

In 2012, a North Carolina father was arrested on a felony child abuse charge for shaking his 3-week-old son. The next year, he was sentenced to 45 days in jail for the crime, which left the boy with medical disabilities and resulted in his being placed in foster care, according to Greensboro News & Record, Fox 8, and WFMY.

Ten years later, on May 22, 2023, Sterling Cummings was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and felony child abuse in connection with the death of his second child.

According to court documents obtained by WFMY, Cummings, 33, was watching his 3-month-old son in May 2021, when the infant’s mother stepped out. When the mother returned home, she realized the baby wasn’t breathing and called 911.

The infant was rushed to the hospital, where he died. The documents reportedly said he was found to have retinal hemorrhaging and an abnormal MRI. 

During the investigation, Greensboro police alleged Cummings provided inconsistent statements to officers, leading them to suspect the baby died under suspicious circumstances, the Greensboro News & Record reports. Authorities later ruled the baby’s death a homicide. 

The infant’s mother is not facing charges, the outlet reports.

Greensboro authorities said they’re aware of Cummings’ history of abuse, including the 2012 incident in Moore County involving his first child, according to WFMY. 

As a result of that incident, the victim, who has since been adopted by a couple, is now blind and has cerebral palsy, the outlet reports, citing court documents.

Referring to Cummings, the child’s adoptive mother, Tracy Trepcyk, told WFMY, "He's very manipulative, he's a sociopath."

Tracy and and her partner, Allan Trepcyk, faced Cummings in Guilford County court this week when he was arraigned. Tracy said she’s not surprised Cummings is back in handcuffs.

“We tried to tell everybody that he was going to do this again,” she told Fox 8.

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“I’ll never be able to wrap my arms around it,” Allan said. “I just know that he is a dangerous individual, and he needs to be put away.”

Cummings is expected back in court on July 6, WFMY reports. It’s unclear if he has entered a plea or retained an attorney to comment on his behalf.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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