Las Vegas Sun

August 15, 2022

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Pair charged with murder in death of 5-year-old who was disabled as a baby

Edward M. Thompson, Jr.

Edward M. Thompson, Jr.

Monique Karten Bork

Monique Karten Bork

Murder charges have been filed in the 2011 death of a boy who, authorities say, was shaken violently as a 2-month-old and ultimately died from injuries sustained at that time.

A criminal complaint filed in Las Vegas Justice Court charges Monique Bork, 26, and Edward M. Thompson Jr., 32, with murder and child abuse and neglect with substantial bodily harm in the death of Brayden Grusman-Buckmaster.

Bork is the child’s mother, and Thompson was Bork’s boyfriend when the baby-shaking occurred, police said.

In August 2006, Bork and a friend took the young baby to Sunrise Trauma Center, where doctors diagnosed him with injuries consistent with Shaken Baby Syndrome. The boy was in critical condition, and doctors told Bork the baby possibly would not survive the evening.

Bork told Metro Police in a voluntary statement at the time that her son was not acting himself but had not had any other accidents besides being hit in the head weeks previously by a falling toy.

In the intervening days, police also talked with Thompson, who said Bork was not telling the truth about the toy falling on the baby. Instead, Thompson said, he had dropped a telephone on the boy’s face.

Six days after the baby was taken to the hospital, Brayden was taken off of life-support equipment and placed in hospice care.

Meanwhile, Brayden spent 2½ years living with his maternal grandmother, then placed in foster care and ultimately was adopted. He survived for five years, police said, during which time he suffered from numerous medical problems, including blindness and cerebral palsy. He was nourished through a gastronomy tube until his death on July 10, 2011.

A televised news account about the boy’s life and death ran earlier this year. Days later, a witness stepped forward and told Metro she was with Bork when Brayden was first hospitalized. The witness told police she had seen the TV report and had thought Thompson already had been charged in the boy’s death.

According to the witness account, shortly after Brayden’s hospitalization, Bork and Thompson were married and the two bragged how “now we can’t testify against each other.” After Bork and Thompson’s relationship soured, Bork confided to the witness that Thompson had shaken Brayden and caused the baby’s injuries. “I know he did it,” the witness quoted Bork. “I know he did it from day one.” Bork further told the witness she and Thompson’s mother, now deceased, “tried to cover it up.”

Thompson was arrested Monday; Bork was arrested Tuesday. Both are being held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail.

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