Friday, August 3, 2012

In Texas, Mother testifies in trial of man accused in beating | Shaken Baby Syndrome

The mother of a baby reportedly diagnosed with bleeding in the brain testified Tuesday that she saw no injuries on the 14 month old before leaving her at the home of the man accused of causing those injuries.

The testimony reportedly came on the first day of the trial for Brian Fredzell Pringle, 44, accused of shaking a 14-month-old female baby in September and causing a subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain. The child, who had to be air lifted to Children's Medical Center of Dallas from East Texas Medical Center on Sept. 5, suffers paralysis on one side of her body, and had a retinal hemorrhage, prosecutors said Tuesday in opening statements. 

The trial is reportedly taking place in the Smith County 114th District Court. Pringle faces up to life in prison if convicted of injury to a child, a first-degree felony, prosecutors said. 

The 21-year-old mother reportedly told the jury that she bathed her baby on two separate occasions on Friday before dropping the child off at Pringle's home on the night of Sept. 4. The mother, who attended a family reunion with the child prior to leaving the baby with Pringle, testified that her daughter was "acting normally" that night and had no injuries on her body. 

The mother testified, reportedly in response to questioning from prosecutor Whitney Tharpe, that her baby was learning to walk and frequently fell down the night of the family reunion. "She tripped and hit her head on a folding metal chair (Sept. 4) and fell off of a porch," the mother said. 

Ms. Tharpe reportedly asked the mother when she next saw her baby after she was left with Pringle. "At the hospital," the mother replied, referring to ETMC. The mother testified that her baby was "just laying there" when she saw her at the hospital. The mother asked to hold her daughter and she did so for about 15 minutes before nurses told her that they had to airlift the child.
In opening statements, Smith County Assistant District Attorney Jacob Putnam, explained that Pringle was taking care of the baby, who was a relative, on Sept. 5, when he ran to a neighbor who was returning to her home from work. Pringle told the neighbor, Cassandra Wheeler, that the child had suffered a seizure. 

But when Ms. Wheeler reportedly called for emergency help, Pringle took the baby back to his home, saying he didn't think it was necessary to call an ambulance. 

Several emergency medical technicians from the Tyler Fire Department reportedly testified that when they arrived at the scene, they could not get Pringle to answer the door at his home. When Pringle did open the door and allow the technicians inside, he told them that he and his wife had taken the baby to a high school football game on Sept. 4, the night before, and that the baby had grabbed her head once, yelling in pain.

The technicians reportedly testified that they saw the baby lying on a bed, and that although she was breathing, she was unresponsive. 

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If you have any questions or concerns about what can be done to help babies who have been shaken, or families of babies who have died, please call Christopher Keane and The Keane Law Firm toll-free for free consultation at (888) 592-5437 (KIDS), click on contact us here, or use the web form provided at

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