Thursday, 17 March 2011

SBS: Washington: Miguel Garza charged

Mar. 12, 2011
Kristin M. Kraemer,
KENNEWICK — A Pasco father pleaded innocent this week to allegations he severely shook his 3-month-old daughter, likely causing permanent vision loss and other long-term damage.
Miguel Garza II, 27, faces trial June 6 in Benton County Superior Court for first-degree assault of a child.
The charge was filed in early February, but his plea was postponed while Garza hired lawyer Shelley Ajax.
It stems from an Oct. 19 call to a Kennewick home for a baby not breathing.
Garza was alone with his daughter and claimed she was lying on the bed drinking milk from a bottle when she started choking and stopped breathing. He later told police and doctors that he accidentally dropped a bottle on her face and she had gone limp, and that he “shook her for a second to see if she was OK,” according to court documents.
However, the doctors who examined the almost comatose baby after the incident told police the injuries were not consistent with Garza’s explanation. The doctors said her brain injury was the result of “inflicted head trauma,” or shaken baby syndrome, documents said.
The infant initially was treated at Kennewick General Hospital, then flown to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, where tests revealed she had bleeding on the brain. She was moved to Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland on Nov. 4, where she underwent surgery on her eyes and to have a shunt inserted into her brain.
The baby survived and was released to a foster parent Nov. 12. She had a feeding tube surgically inserted into her stomach and is continuing treatment for her injuries, prosecutors said in court documents.
While the case is pending, Garza is ordered to have no contact with his daughter.

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