Monday, 2 January 2012

SBS: South Dakota: 14 year old babysitter charged

A Rapid City teenager is accused of murder after an infant girl died in a Sioux Falls hospital Tuesday.
The 1-year-old Rapid City child died from "acute blunt-force head injury, attributable to non-accidental shaking," according to Lara Roetzel, Pennington County's chief deputy state's attorney.
The little girl was injured Dec. 14 and transferred to Sandford Children's Hospital from Rapid City Regional Hospital on Dec. 17, according to authorities.
The Pennington County Sheriff's Office arrested a 14-year-old male about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. He is charged with second-degree murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison.
Roetzel said the teenager was not related to the child. He was not alone with her when the injury occurred, she said. As of Thursday, no additional charges had been filed in connection with the child's death, she said.
The teen is being held in the Western South Dakota Juvenile Services Center. He was expected to make an appearance in juvenile court this week. Juvenile court proceedings are closed to the public.
The state's attorney's office is still considering whether or not a request will be made to move the case to adult court, Roetzel said.
According to the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome, a 2003 University of North Carolina research project estimated that approximately 1,300 U.S. children experience severe or fatal head trauma from child abuse every year. That same study also revealed that approximately 30 of every 100,000 children under age 1 suffered inflicted brain injuries.
Contact Andrea Cook at 394-8423 or

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