HUNTINGTON -- A 41-year-old man from Huntington has been indicted in a shaken baby case, which investigators say led to the death of 4-month-old Emma Beatty.
The indictment against Michael Allen Fannin was unsealed Wednesday. It charges death of a child by a parent, guardian, custodian or other person by child abuse.
Fannin will be arraigned Wednesday, July 13, before Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell. The allegation carries a possible 10- to 40-year prison sentence.
A criminal complaint states Emma, who was born in January, was hospitalized with severe head trauma and other life-threatening injuries Friday, April 29, at Cabell Huntington Hospital. She died three days later.
The complaint further states the girl's mother, Melissa Beatty, said she left her daughter in the care of Fannin at his Marcum Terrace apartment when she went to work at 6:30 a.m., April 29.
The complaint charges Fannin contacted her at 8:30 a.m., saying he had dropped Emma Beatty on the couch after a screen door slammed and startled them. She said Fannin told her the infant hadn't been "acting right" since the fall, and she was transported to St. Mary's Medical Center before being transferred to intensive care at Cabell Huntington. That is when authorities stepped in.
Trooper W.G. Hash of the West Virginia State Police and a doctor from Cabell Huntington Hospital were later questioned at a preliminary hearing. Hash testified that Fannin's story had changed, while the doctor said the baby's brain injuries were consistent shaken baby syndrome.
Fannin remains jailed on a $1 million cash bond.