In Need of Care

Father scheduled to be sentenced after baby suffered traumatic head injuries

A father accused of causing traumatic head injuries to his 3-month-old son is scheduled to be sentenced by a Sedgwick County District Court judge next month.

The father pleaded guilty to aggravated battery on Nov. 7, court records show. A judge is scheduled to sentence him Jan. 9.

The father appeared in court Thursday in a separate child-in-need-of-care case prosecutors filed in October to protect the infant and an older child; he waived his right to a hearing.

The mother of the boy asked for a 30-day continuance in her adjudication hearing in the child-in-need-of-care case. An adjudication hearing is similar to a trial. Judge Faith Maughan scheduled that hearing for Jan. 30.

A child-in-need-of-care petition said doctors admitted the baby, now almost 5 months old, to Wesley Medical Center on Oct. 2 with “abusive head trauma.” The baby suffered subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhages, the petition said. The latter is bleeding between the brain and the thin tissues that cover the brain.

A Wichita Police Department detective from the Exploited and Missing Child Unit and a social work specialist from the Kansas Department for Children and Families interviewed the father Oct. 3. Three days later, they put the baby and a 3-year-old boy in protective custody.

The father said when the baby was born, there was fluid on his brain and his head was bigger than normal, according to the petition.

The father said that he fed the baby about 3 or 4 a.m. Oct. 1 and the baby vomited. The baby’s mother tried to feed him again between 7 and 8 a.m., and the boy again threw up. The father said they called a doctor who advised bringing the baby to Wesley for a CT scan.

Wesley’s “CARE” — Child at Risk Evaluation — team met to discuss the baby’s care. It determined there was evidence of old and new traumatic head injuries.

The mother reported that she went to work the day before the baby became sick and left him with her mother. She said the baby’s father picked him up and cared for him until she came home about 10 p.m.

The mother said the baby had been on the couch with a blanket under him when the 3-year-old pulled the blanket, causing the baby to fall onto the carpeted floor. That happened in late September, she said, according to the petition. The mother of the 3-month-old also reported that her mother drank alcohol regularly.

Reach Deb Gruver at 316-268-6400 or dgruver@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SGCountyDeb.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle

  Comments