The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

August 15, 2012

Mother’s boyfriend to stand trial in shaken-baby case

JOPLIN, Mo. — A judge has ordered a 20-year-old Joplin man bound over for trial on a charge that he severely injured his girlfriend’s baby by violently shaking her.

Courtney J. Lindsey is charged with first-degree assault in connection with injuries suffered April 24 by 7-month-old Adriana Bowers, the daughter of Lindsey’s girlfriend, Amber Pittsley. Associate Judge Richard Copeland found probable cause at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing Wednesday in Jasper County Circuit Court for Lindsey to stand trial.

Dr. Lori Schimmel testified at the hearing that the baby was taken to Freeman Hospital West in an unresponsive state.

“We did not have much information from the ambulance crew as to what had caused the child to be in the condition she was in,” Schimmel told the court.

The doctor said a computerized tomography scan showed that the infant suffered from a subdural hematoma “consistent with significant nonaccidental trauma,” and she arranged for the baby’s medical transport to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

A probable-cause affidavit states that Lindsey, who lived with the girl and her mother at 1606 S. Kentucky Ave., was the lone adult present in the home when the baby was injured. Lindsey called 911 for an ambulance at 8:39 a.m., according to police.

Detective Chip Root of the Joplin Police Department testified that he interviewed Lindsey at the Joplin police station later that day, and the defendant acknowledged that he had been caring for the girl while her mother was gone.

The detective said Lindsey initially told police that he didn’t know what happened to the girl, that she had just stopped breathing. Root said the defendant changed his story several times over the course of the interview.

Lindsey told him that Adriana was crying, and he was holding her and trying to get her some water when he dropped her in the kitchen, Root said. Next, the defendant told him that he had set the girl down on a table in the kitchen and that he subsequently picked her up off the floor, the detective said. But then Lindsey returned to a version in which he was holding her and dropped her, and she hit her head, the detective said.

Finally, Lindsey admitted that he had shaken the baby and demonstrated what he had done with a doll, the detective said. He also consented to “a walk-through” of what happened with investigators at the house, Root told the court.

There was no testimony at the hearing as to the current condition of the girl, who is now 10 1/2 months old.

Trial division

THE JUDGE set the defendant’s initial appearance in a trial division of the court for Sept. 10.

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