Mass. judge allows Ala. boy, 7, taken off life support

Courtesy: WHDH-TV
Courtesy: WHDH-TV

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - A judge in Worcester has ruled that a 7-year-old boy who prosecutors say was severely beaten on Father's Day can be removed from life support.

Nathaniel Turner had come from Massachusetts from Eufaula, Alabama to spend the summer with his father.

Juvenile Court Judge Carol Erskine said she agreed with doctors at UMass Memorial Medical Center who testified at a hearing Wednesday that the boy was brain dead.

The judge said the child's mother could now decide whether to donate the boy's organs.

Leslie Schuler is charged with assaulting his son. Schuler's lawyer asked at the hearing that the child be kept on a ventilator.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said the case has now become a "homicide investigation."

The child had been living with his maternal grandmother here in Alabama.

WSFA 12 News reporter Cody Holyoke will have more information on this developing story on WSFA 12 news at 10:00pm.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)