Herminie man accused by troopers of injuring infant girl
A 20-year-old Herminie man was arraigned Tuesday on multiple criminal charges for allegedly assaulting an 8-month-old girl he was babysitting last November.
Shane M. Morrison was arraigned before Hempfield District Judge Mark Mansour on charges of aggravated assault on a child less than 13 years old, simple assault and reckless endangerment. Mansour ordered Morrison held in the Westmoreland County Prison after he failed to post $100,000 bail pending a March 8 preliminary hearing.
Trooper Evan Terek alleges in an affidavit of probable cause the baby’s mother and Morrison took the child into the Urgent Care facility in North Huntingdon on Nov. 24 for treatment of a visible bruise on the right side of her head. There was severe swelling, according to court documents.
Court records said the child was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland hospital in Greensburg and transferred the same day to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Terek reported state police were notified by Dr. Jennifer Clarke, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital, that the infant suffered a skull fracture with extensive scalp swelling and bruises on her right forearm and upper gum line in her mouth.
“It is Dr. Clarke’s medical opinion that these injuries are the result of physical abuse. There was a traumatic event suffered by the infant that caused her serious bodily injury within a week (prior to) being treated,” Terek wrote in court documents.
The baby’s mother told police she and Morrison noticed a bump on the child’s head Nov. 21, and the swelling got worse over the next three days so they sought medical treatment.
The mother reported she first noticed the injury when she returned home from work the evening of Nov. 21 while Morrison was watching the infant, Terek reported in court papers. She said the baby did not appear injured when she left for work at 4 p.m.
According to Terek, Morrison said the baby’s “bump” was brought to his attention by his fiance Nov. 21.
Morrison told Terek the couple “has a cat that has been swatting the infant’s face while she was drinking from a bottle … which may have caused the injuries to her mouth and arm.”
Terek said Morrison has repeatedly denied in interviews causing the infant’s injuries.
The complaint was filed after troopers obtained the child’s medical records.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .