June 28, 2011Updated: 11:56 am EDT June 28, 2011
BEDFORD, Pa. -- A 17-year-old father has been charged as an adult in the assault of his infant son in Bedford County. Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins told WJAC-TV that Joseph Everhart shook his 8-week-old son at a home in Riddlesburg, Pa., on June 9.
The baby was taken to Children's Hospital of UPMC in Pittsburgh following the incident. Higgins said following an examination by a doctor at Children's, it was determined the boy had suffered from acute subdural and subarachnoid hemorrhages as well as significant retinal hemorrhages. Higgins said these findings are indicative of an injury previously called shaken baby syndrome, but is now called abusive head trauma.
Higgins said a state police investigation revealed that Everhart was the only person at home with the child when the injuries are believed to have occurred.
On Tuesday, Bedford County Judge Thomas Ling ruled in Higgins' favor to have the charges against Everhart transferred from juvenile to adult court.
"If this nearly 18-year-old man was adult enough to take on the responsibility of fathering a child and adult enough to make the decision to remove himself from school, the Criminal Justice System should treat him as an adult and, more importantly, he should be punished as an adult," Higgins said.
Everhart was placed in the Bedford County Jail on $50,000 bail. He is facing charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of children.