Thursday, November 19, 2009

Abused toddler suffered seizures

The 22-month-old girl who was admitted to the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital last week with life-threatening injuries is in stable condition, according to the Tallahassee Police Department.It was Hall and the child’s mother that brought the girl to TMH at about 1 p.m. last Thursday. The child was unreponsive and not breathing when she arrived at TMH.

Hall’s arrest papers detail what he told police, the child’s physical injuries and possible causes and how TPD established Hall as the suspect.

According to the arrest report, Hall initially told emergency room medical staff that he had been bathing the child when she fell face first into the water while Hall was getting a towel outside of the bathroom. He said the girl was unresponsive, so he began “hitting the child on the buttocks in order to elicit a response from the child.”

When he could not get her to respond, Hall contacted the girl’s mother, who came home to take the child to the hospital.

Once there, the girl was immediately placed on a ventilator because she was unresponsive and not breathing. The medical director for the Child Protection Team told investigators that the girl was having seizures and had severe bruising to her buttocks. In addition to finding extensive bruising, the girl had a body temperature of 88, which the medical director said indicated that some time had passed before the child was admitted.

Internal bleeding required doctors to give the girl a blood transfusion. Based on the injuries, investigators suspect the injuries occurred earlier in the day than reported.

The medical director told investigators that the seizures were a result of a subdural hematoma that caused the child’s brain to swell.

The doctor also told police said the child’s hematoma was a result of being shaken.

Investigators returned to the home with Hall, where he reenacted what happened with a doll.

Hall said he left the child standing in the tub while he grabbed a towel. After hearing a thud, Hall returned to the bathroom and found the child face down. With the child limp and unresponsive, Hall said he hit her buttocks four to five times, until he heard a noise from the child.

He then put her in bed, at which time the child began flailing her arms. Hall yelled the child’s name to get a response, but he couldn’t. He said he placed the child in bed because he thought the child could sleep it off, according to the affidavit.

He called the child’s mother, who left class at Florida State University to take the girl to the hospital. According to the investigator, Hall had been with the child since 8:45 a.m. that morning, when the mother left for school. The mother told police that Hall and the child wre sleeping when she left.

The Child Protection Team medical director told police that, with the exception of the bruising on the buttocks, the injuries were inconsistent with Hall’s story.

Because Hall had been the only person with the child and because he told police he hit the child on the buttocks, investigators felt they had probable cause to press charges on Hall.

Hall was on probation at the time for burglary and other charges and had been released from jail on Oct. 2.


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