Aug. 20, 2010
By JOHN WHARTON
A Mechanicsville man has been charged with child abuse in court papers alleging he told police he grabbed his crying 7-month-old daughter last week and forcibly shook her five times, and her body went limp.
Marcus Corwell Hall, 25, was released from custody Tuesday on personal recognizance by a court commissioner who issued the warrant earlier that day charging Hall with first-degree child abuse resulting in severe physical injury. Hall was ordered to not have any violent contact with the child as a condition of his pretrial release.
St. Mary's detectives reported Wednesday that they were notified last Friday, Aug. 13, that the child had been "critically injured," and that she had been transferred from a local hospital to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., "with an unknown life-threatening condition."
The law officers commenced an investigation assisted by social workers.
An emergency-room doctor at St. Mary's Hospital told police that Shauntice Aniya Hall had either been dropped on her head or was a victim of shaken baby syndrome, court papers state, and the law officers asked the father what happened.
"Hall stated the baby fell off of his bed," about four or five feet to the floor, according to a charges application filed by detective Sgt. Jeffery Jones, and the emergency room doctor "agreed that could have been the cause."
On Tuesday, Hall contacted an employee with child protective services, the court papers state, "and stated he wanted to turn himself in."
He was questioned that evening by detectives.
"Hall stated the baby was sitting on the bed [and] would not stop crying," the sergeant wrote in the charges application. "He picked her up and rocked her. She still would not stop crying. Hall then grabbed the baby under her arm pits and forcibly shook her more than five times. She went limp, and Hall started CPR on her."
The baby suffered two small brain bleeds and has been having seizures while still in the care of the Washington, D.C., hospital, according to the court papers filed Tuesday by the detective.