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Mother of 8-week-old found dead in 2016 accepts plea; former boyfriend rejects plea

Sentenced; awaiting trial

Amber Lane Scarborough

Houston Ray McCarn

By Shavonne Walker


SALISBURY — A teenage mother whose 8-week-old baby was found unresponsive in 2016 in a bassinet at a home where she and her former boyfriend admitted smoking marijuana will spend at least 20 years in prison after accepting a plea deal.

The man rejected two plea deals put forth by the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office.

Amber Lane Scarborough, 19, has been in the Rowan County jail without bond since her July 21 arrest. Her former boyfriend, Houston Ray McCarn, 21, has been in the jail since his July 22 arrest.

McCarn was given a first option of 25 years to 31 years in prison and rejected the deal.

The District Attorney’s Office gave McCarn another option of 20 to 25 years. His lawyer, Tom King, told the court Wednesday that his client had rejected that offer, as well. King said he explained to his client that the alternative could mean life in prison.

King said he met with McCarn and his family to explain that no other offers would be extended to him.

“He understood,” King said.

McCarn confirmed to Superior Court Judge Anna Mills Wagoner that he understood. He was returned to the county jail until an undetermined hearing.

Scarborough received 20 years to 25 years in prison and will be given credit for the 292 days she has served while awaiting a trial.

The pair were charged nearly a year after the infant’s death with felony first-degree murder and felony child abuse. An autopsy by the N.C. Medical Examiner’s Office said Kingston Daniel Aistrop died from blunt force trauma to the head. He was found unresponsive about five hours after being fed and put to sleep in his bassinet.

The bassinet contained two to three blankets and a towel.

Scarborough called 911 about 8:15 a.m. July 30, 2016. Rowan County EMS responders performed CPR on the baby at a Van Street home but could not revive him. The Rockwell home was where the two were said to be living at the time.

According to reports, McCarn and Scarborough broke up not long after the infant’s death.

The autopsy revealed a number of bruises on the infant’s head and forehead and bleeding on the brain. It showed that other than injuries to the head, the baby was normally developed and well-nourished. His neck and chest showed no injuries.

A woman who was captivated by the circumstances surrounding Kingston Aistrop’s death said she followed the case.

Marie Baker, who lives in Rowan County, said her daughters know Scarborough, McCarn and the infant’s father.

She’s active in the community, loves children and just witnessed the birth of her great-grandchild, and it was upsetting to her so she first commented on a “Justice for Kingston Aistrop” Facebook page.

Baker said no amount time would ever be enough.

“I feel like they shouldn’t have life if they take a baby’s life,” Baker said.


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