The one-month-old baby who was placed into a medically-induced coma after she was allegedly shaken by her father is improving and may be released from the hospital later this week, according to Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins.
But Collins said Tuesday that hospital officials found evidence of a “healing hairline fracture to the left tibia.” Collins said the finding “may indicate prior abuse.”
Martin Proctor, 27, Hillsboro, was arrested last week by the Hillsboro Police Department and charged with felonious assault in regard to the injuries to the baby. He is being held on $50,000 bond at the Highland County Justice Center. A preliminary hearing is set for March 30. Hillsboro defense attorney Lee Koogler has been appointed by the court to represent Proctor.
The case first became public last Wednesday when the local Children Services agency filed a request with Highland County Juvenile Judge Kevin Greer for protective custody of the baby and her 8-year-old brother after the infant was taken to Highland District Hospital on March 12, then transferred by life squad to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where she was sedated into a coma due to seizures.
Greer granted the custody order, calling the circumstances of the baby’s injuries “horrific,” as Proctor and the baby’s mother sat in the courtroom during the hearing.
The filing in juvenile court stated that the father claimed he had been home with both children when he “tripped over a cord which caused him to drop (the baby). Father stated that (the baby) then began to cry, he could not get her to stop crying, he shook her and she went limp. Father reported that (the baby) then began crying so hard she turned purple and began to seize.”
However, the court document stated that there were statements from others who said they heard the father yelling and what sounded like him punching the walls. They said they heard him yell at the baby’s mother to “shut the (expletive) baby up” prior to her leaving for work.
Approximately two weeks prior, the older child was seen to have what appeared to be a black eye, and the father told people he had punched the child, according to the filing. Law enforcement “has an ongoing criminal investigation involving this family,” according to the filing.
When the baby was transferred to the Cincinnati hospital, the hospital staff were concerned about Proctor being present, and said that he became “belligerent” with the nursing staff, according to the Children Services filing, which noted that the baby’s injuries were considered life-threatening. In court last Wednesday, Proctor attempted to address the judge, but Greer told him to remain silent and threatened to send him to jail immediately if he did not comply.
A court spokesperson told The Times-Gazette last week that Proctor was on probation at the time of the incident after pleading guilty to an OVI violation from February of last year.
Police arrested Proctor Wednesday just a few hours after the juvenile court hearing.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.