In Need of Care

Father sentenced in aggravated battery of baby boy

A Sedgwick County District Court judge sentenced a father who pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of his infant son to 3 1/2 years of prison or probation Friday.

Judge Doug Roth sentenced the 30-year-old man. Where he will spend the 42-month sentence has not yet been determined. The father was accused of causing traumatic head injuries to the baby, who was then 3 months old.

The father waived his rights to a hearing in a separate case that will determine if the baby and an older child should remain in the home.

The Eagle has been covering the case as part of its “In Need of Care” series. It is not naming the children or the parents because doing so could identify the children.

A petition filed on behalf of children 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 that 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 taking the baby to Wesley for a CT scan.

Wesley’s “CARE” – Child at Risk Evaluation – team met to discuss the baby’s care. They said 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 also said that 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 will next be in court Jan. 30 in the child-in-need-of-care case. She does not face any criminal charges.

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

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