Crime

Howard woman charged after police say she abused a 2-month-old infant

Recognizing signs of physical child abuse

CDC statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.
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CDC statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.

A Howard woman was jailed Tuesday after state police at Rockview said she struck, kicked and choked a 2-month-old infant who now has life-threatening brain injuries, retinal hemorrhages in both eyes and chip fractures in their left leg.

A Geisinger Medical Center physician said the infant’s brain injuries are “severe enough that (the child) will likely have affects the rest of (their) life,” if they survive, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed Tuesday by police.

Centre County Children and Youth Services told police in August the infant was flown from Mount Nittany Medical Center to Geisinger Danville by medical helicopter for injuries from “a possible abuse situation,” according to the affidavit.

Mindy Jackson, 28, was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, one felony count of endangering the welfare of a child and one felony count of strangulation. She was also charged with one misdemeanor count of simple assault, one misdemeanor count of recklessly endangering another person and one summary count of harassment.

Jackson was one of at least three people interviewed by police. She said the infant “had not been taking a bottle either at all or very little” before she took the infant to the hospital, according to the affidavit.

The investigation was not the first involving a child at the residence, which has a security system. An 8-month-old infant died in January and their death was ruled as sudden infant death syndrome, according to the affidavit.

After securing two search warrants to view the security system footage, “several incidents of abuse were found,” pertaining to the 2-month-old infant, police wrote in the affidavit.

The infant was in a car seat when Jackson struck the them in the face, choked them and kicked the car seat while the infant was in it. She also “aggressively” bounced the infant, choked them while they were in a swing and “forcefully” shoved a bottle in the infant’s mouth, according to the affidavit.

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The main entrance of Mount Nittany Medical Centeron May 25, 2016. Centre Daily Times, file

The infant’s injuries included a severe anoxic brain injury, intracranial hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhages in both eyes and chip fractures in their left tibia. Some of the injuries are consistent with smothering or shaking, according to the affidavit.

Jackson was interviewed by police Tuesday. She initially denied abusing the infant, but after being confronted with the security camera footage, she “began to become emotional and stated she didn’t do these things intentionally,” according to the affidavit.

“Jackson related she did everything she could to satisfy (the infant) and stop (the infant) from crying, but it just wasn’t working,” police wrote. “Jackson related her actions were just due to her becoming frustrated and she does not normally exhibit this type of behavior. Jackson states things just got out of control and things accidentally happened.”

An attorney for Jackson was not listed.

She was arraigned Tuesday by District Judge Allen Sinclair, who set bail at $101,000. Jackson did not post bail and is detained at the Centre County Correctional Facility.

Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 18.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.
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